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THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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SPECIAL REPORTS: The University of Arizona BIO5 Institute Lori Carroll & Associates The Clements Agency FALL 2021 • $3.99 • DISPLAY UNTIL 12/31/21

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BizLETTER BIOSCIENCE

Since our inception in 2009, BizTucson’s team of journalists has witnessed the emergence of bioscience as a major industry sector in the region. Arguably, Dr. Thomas Grogan was the founder and catalyst for our region’s bioscience revolution. He invented an automated, standardized tissue biopsy diagnostic instrument that revolutionized cancer care and in 1985 founded Ventana Medical Systems. The company that Grogan started in a garage was acquired by Swiss-based Roche in 2008 for $3.4 billion. Today, Roche Tissue Diagnostics employs more than 1,700 employees at its Oro Valley campus and recently expanded to Marana with a logistics facility. Roche Tissue Diagnostics Head Jill German said. “As we learn more about cancer biology, we are able to develop tests and treatments that can address the needs of each cancer patient, with the ultimate goal of finding cures. Some of the most exciting work in this area is taking place right here in Tucson.” Rodney Campbell provides an indepth report on this region’s global success in bioscience – which spans from the University of Arizona to fascinating profiles of the region’s biotech companies, Roche Tissue Diagnostics, a Q & A with UArizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins and an update on venture capital to commercialize the remarkable discoveries. Fletcher McCusker sees Tucson as the next Austin, San Diego, Boston when it comes to biotech and biomedical. He said. “We are still, largely, undiscovered, but wait three to five years.” McCusker is CEO of UAVenture Capital and founder of other biotech successes. UArizona is pivotal to this region’s success, producing more than $734 million in annual research and ranking in the top 20 of public research universities in the nation. Romi Carrell Wittman and Mary Davis file a report on the BIO5 Institute’s 20 Years of Impact. BIO5 has led to major interdisciplinary advances in bioscience, biomedicine and biotechnology. The institute was designed to serve as a hub for collaborative research to produce innovative solutions to complex biological challenges like aging, hunger, disease and water and food sustainability. Another special report focuses on Lori Carroll & Associates. Romi Carrell 4 BizTucson

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PHOTO BY STEVEN MECKLER

Region’s Emerging Sector

Wittman and Tara Kirkpatrick write: “It’s not hyperbole to say Carroll, who celebrates more than three decades in design, is the region’s most prolific and preeminent source of elegant desert living. Her timeless aesthetic graces residential and commercial projects throughout Arizona and the United States.” Her firm has received more than 100 regional, national and international awards. She’s been featured on national TV design shows and in numerous publications. She just released her first book, “Circle Square Balance Hue.” And finally, we focus another report on The Clements Agency, now a HUB International company. Founder Jack Clements grew this statewide insurance business over the past 20 years. Clements’ sons Sean and Jim serve as senior VPs. By partnering with HUB, the company can better serve major industry sectors – including agribusiness, construction, hospitality, healthcare, transportation, entertainment, real estate and financial institutions. Jay Gonzales files an update on the red-hot market for new home construction, home sites and real estate. He writes “more than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the global economy, the real estate market in the Tucson region is still riding a wave of historically peak demand with no end in sight. New-home builders are finding a market flush with buyers.” As always, we are grateful for our loyal readers, the tremendous support of our advertisers and our exceptional editorial team and their high standard of journalism. Steven E. Rosenberg Publisher & Owner BizTucson

Fall 2021

Volume 13 No. 3

Publisher & Owner

Steven E. Rosenberg Brent G. Mathis

Creative Director Contributing Editors

Donna Kreutz Tara Kirkpatrick Jay Gonzales Elena Acoba Diane Luber Romi Carrell Wittman

Contributing Technology Director

Mike Serres

Contributing Project Coordinator

Maricela Robles

Contributing Writers

Elena Acoba

Thomas Leyde Loni Nannini David Pittman Steve Rivera Valerie Vinyard Romi Carrell Wittman

Rodney Campbell Mary Davis Jay Gonzales June Hussey Tara Kirkpatrick Donna Kreutz Christy Krueger Contributing Photographers

Brent G. Mathis Chris Mooney William Lesch Jon Mancuso Amy Haskell

BizTucson News Update (Email Newsletter)

Britta Van Vranken Kris Hanning

Brent G. Mathis Tara Kirkpatrick Member:

American Advertising Federation, Tucson DM-50 Southern Arizona Leadership Council Sun Corridor Inc. Tucson Metro Chamber Visit Tucson

BizTucson Phone: 520.299.1005 Subscription Information:

www.BizTucson.com subscriptions@BizTucson.com Advertising information:

Steve Rosenberg 520.299.1005 or 520.907.1012 steve@BizTucson.com BizTucson is published quarterly by Rosenberg Media, LLC., Tucson, AZ © 2021 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in columns or articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

POSTMASTER:

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Please send address changes to: BizTucson, 4729 East Sunrise Drive, #505 Tucson, AZ 85718. www.BizTucson.com


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BizCONTENTS

FEATURES

FALL 2021 VOLUME 13 NO. 3

COVER STORY:

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BIOSCIENCE REGION’S EMERGING SECTOR UArizona Fuels Innovative Research, Startups Building a Biotech Base: Companies Advance Across the Region Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan’s Research a Regional Asset

51 54 58

Roche Anchors Region’s Bioscience Industry Q&A With UArizona’s Dr.Robert C. Robbins Boosting Venture Capital

DEPARTMENTS 102 4

BizLETTER From the Publisher

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BizRANKINGS Tucson On The Radar

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BizSPORTS The Race Returns: El Tour de Tucson

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BizRESEARCH World-Class Research for Real-World Needs UArizona Applied Research Building

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BizECONOMY 192 Economic Developments: Corporate Relocations & Expansions 216 220

BizAWARDS Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson Awards Social Venture Partners Honors “Second Chance Tucson”

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BizSPORTS New Sponsor, New Feel for Arizona Bowl Major Expansion at Kino Sports Complex Stadium, Ice Rinks, Basketball Courts Planned

SPECIAL REPORTS 65

102 BizINVESTING Mister Car Wash Goes to Wall Street Tucson Company Now on the NYSE

SPECIAL REPORT 2021

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

BIO5 INSTITUTE

104 BizWORKFORCE Blueprint for Prosperity Tucson Metro Chamber Issues Plan Y

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BizCONSTRUCTION New Projects in the Region

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BizAWARDS Metropolitan Pima Alliance Common Ground Awards

BizHONORS 186 Real Estate Legend: George Larsen Honored for 50 Years in Business BizART 190 The Art of Food: Largest Exhibit in Over a Decade

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PA

121 SPECIAL REPORT 2021

VISIONARY DESIGNS OF

LORI CARROLL

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Lori Carroll & Associates 20th Anniversary

20TH ANNIVERSARY

193 SPECIAL REPORT 2021

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

The Clements Agency A HUB INTERNATIONAL COMPANY

PHOENIX

ABOUT THE COVER BIOSCIENCE: Region’s Emerging Sector Creative Design by Brent G. Mathis

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

EXECUTIVE LIVING: THE

BizHOUSING New Home Builders Ride Wave of Historic Demand

BizREALESTATE 184 Region’s Real Estate Demand Exceeds Supply

RS

University of Arizona BIO5 Institute 20 Years of Impact

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20 YEARS OF IMPACT

EA

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THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

TUCSON

F L A G S TA F F

Serving Arizona’s Business Community For More Than Two Decades

The Clements Agency at 20 A HUB International Company

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BizRANKINGS

On The Radar How the Region is Getting Noticed

Tucson Named 20th Best City in the U.S. BestCities.org Tucson ranked No. 20 in the U.S. in the 2021 America’s Best Cities annual report by Resonance Consultancy. The report said fast-growing Tucson is buoyed by its sense of place, ranking #10 in both the report’s Weather and Parks & Outdoors subcategories. The city is poised to ascend up future national rankings, due to significant new investment in all manner of green and common space, according to the ranking on BestCities.org.

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Tucson Ranks No. 9 Among New U.S. Tech Markets CBRE Research In its 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report, CBRE ranked Tucson No. 9 among 25 up-and-coming U.S. tech markets. The annual report, which analyzes 75 U.S. and Canadian markets on their ability to attract and grow tech talent, noted that Tucson’s total tech growth increased 47% in the past five years while its tech wage growth increased 13% over the same period. Total tech employment in Tucson for 2020 was 15,850 with total wages averaging $85,786. .

UArizona Among Top Global Universities Granted Utility Patents in 2020 National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association The University of Arizona ranks No. 28 among the top 100 worldwide universities with the most U.S. patents granted for inventions in 2020, according to a list released by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. The new ranking is an 11-point jump from 2019.

Tucson Listed in Top 25 Best Fall Trips in the World Outside Magazine Tucson is listed among the magazine’s top destinations for autumn trips, particularly for its world-class cycling. The city “has become a magnet for serious bikers in winter, but fall may be the best time of all,” the magazine said. “The aspen and maple trees in the canyons of Santa Catalina Mountains turn bright gold and deep red, and locals come out of their summer hibernation to host a series of fall events...”

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PHOTO: COURTESY VISIT TUCSON

BizSPORTS

The Race Returns

38th Banner-University Medicine El Tour de Tucson By Valerie Vinyard Since 1983, El Tour de Tucson has attracted cyclists of every ilk. That first year, fewer than 200 cyclists participated, raising $4,500 for charity. How things have changed. As the years went on, thousands of cyclists – up to 9,000 – would participate. El Tour de Tucson is now the flagship event organized by the nonprofit Perimeter Bicycling Association of America and one of the largest cycling races in the United States. The 2020 event initially was postponed from its usual November start, but then ultimately was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year in its return, the route will take riders south of Tucson for the first time. “We have a brand-new route, which is really exciting,” said Christiana Benson, Perimeter’s director of business de28 BizTucson

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velopment. “They allow us to showcase Tucson and areas that we haven’t been able to show you before. This is a way for us to all come together after COVID.” When Benson drove the full route on July 14, she was impressed. “The 100-mile route and the 57-mile route are spectacular,” she said. “I think I saw parts of the city that I have never experienced in this way.” During the drive, she raved about seeing “purple mountain ranges speckled with majestic saguaros,” along with the beautiful scenery of prickly pear, chollas and ocotillo. “It was this whole symphony of cacti,” she said. In addition to the roads of Tucson, the route wends cyclists through Green Valley, Sahuarita, Vail and Marana. In Tucson, participants will ride by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, enjoy

a closed route on Aviation Parkway, follow along Old Spanish Trail and pass by the historic Colossal Cave. The new route also will take riders by the pecan groves in Green Valley and the mines in Sahuarita. This year’s event will feature 102-, 57- and 28-mile routes as well as 10-, 5and 1-mile fun rides. As it did before the pandemic, the event will take place the third Saturday in November. In 2019, the race attracted more than 6,000 cyclists and Benson hopes to achieve similar numbers this year for a race that speaks to both the competitive and the leisurely. “You don’t have to put your head down and go 100 miles per hour,” said TJ Juskiewicz, Perimeter’s executive director. “Some people want to keep their head up and see the neat things while continued on page 30 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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ert

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BizSPORTS continued from page 28 they’re riding.” It’s Juskiewicz’s first time helming the event. The 56-year-old New Jersey native, who moved from Iowa to Tucson last year, boasts an impressive resume in the cycling community. After he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports administration at the University of Florida, he served as the university’s athletic director and then worked at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He was the director for Bike Florida, a nonprofit organization that helps Florida communities improve through bicycle tourism, from 1999 to 2002. He worked at RAGBRAI, which stands for Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Race Across Iowa, from 2003 to 2019. When Juskiewicz moved to Tucson, he was familiar with both the city and El Tour. “It’s such a great bike community,” he said. “It’s a bike mecca. It has so many things going on.” Though Juskiewicz didn’t take part in mapping out El Tour’s new route, he’s excited for riders to experience it. As always, safety is a top concern. By us-

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ing less-traveled roads with little traffic, organizers hope there will be less of an impact on drivers. Like previous years, the race will begin and end at Armory Park. Presenting sponsors are Casino del Sol, Chapman Automotive, TMC Healthcare, Town of Marana, Gladden Farms and Rio Nuevo. El Tour and the events around it also raise money for various charities. In

38TH BANNER-UNIVERSITY MEDICINE EL TOUR DE TUCSON Saturday, Nov. 20, 7 a.m. for earliest course Event begins and ends at Armory Park Tucson, 221 S. Sixth Ave. eltourdetucson.org (520) 745-2033

2019, the total money raised surpassed $101 million. This year’s main beneficiary is Diamond Children’s Medical Center. More than 40 national and local nonprofits will also use El Tour as a platform for raising money. Other events will include an expo from Nov. 18 to 20, which will be free to attend and feature about 30 vendors that will include local bike shops, bands and food and drink. Ten55 Brewing has created a special El Tour beer, which visitors can enjoy in the expo’s beer garden, and eegee’s will feature an El Tour flavor. The November event needs hundreds of volunteers, and Juskiewicz hopes Tucsonans respond. “The course spreads over 140 miles,” he said. “There’s all kinds of different ways of getting involved.” “This is an exciting community event where you’re doing something together,” added Benson. “What better is it to do something so important for Tucson’s economy and the charities we serve?”

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BizBIOSCIENCE

By Rodney Campbell Austin, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego…Tucson? When a successful veteran of the biotech world and influential venture capitalist says our city will soon join those heavyweights as corporate destinations, there may be something to it. Fletcher McCusker, CEO of UAVenture Capital and one of the region’s most respected economic development voices, believes Tucson will be a biotech and biomedical hot spot in the next three to five years. That’s going to take venture capital and the brain power and can-do attitude of a world-class university. Tucson has both. In this special report on the region’s biosciences industry, BizTucson spotlights several of the region’s biotech companies from A – Accelerate Diagnostics – to almost Z – Xeridiem Medical Devices. Each has a unique story to share and one thing in www.BizTucson.com

common: world-class work in Southern Arizona. Some are homegrown successes. Ventana Medical Systems, now known as Roche Tissue Diagnostics, was founded by famed University of Arizona pathologist Dr. Thomas Grogan and eventually sold to Roche, a Swiss multi-national company. The new owners have remained faithful to Southern Arizona by expanding their Oro Valley campus and branching out to Marana. Others, including Sandvik Materials Technology, are new to the market. In fact, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, none of Sandvik’s corporate leadership even visited Tucson before the company agreed to expand here last year. The entire recruiting process, led by Sun Corridor Inc., was done virtually. Tucson is a strong biotech market thanks to the presence of UArizona. Led by President Dr.

Robert C. Robbins, UArizona ranks among the top 20 universities in the nation in research and development expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. UArizona also has the resources and expertise to help start-ups become successful through Tech Launch Arizona and two – soon to be three – Tech Parks Arizona facilities. The university also plays an important role by producing outstanding graduates from its colleges of agriculture, engineering, life and health sciences, medicine and pharmacy. More job opportunities are keeping talented alumni in Tucson. The following pages offer a report on the progressing biosciences hub in the region and the future it holds for the economy, the community and the industry itself.

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BizBIOSCIENCE

The Region’s

Biotech Engine

UArizona Fuels Innovative Research, Startups By Rodney Campbell The University of Arizona is a hub of biosciences activity in the region, not just in learning, but in producing solutions that make their way to market and impact society. The following are the primary organizations within UArizona that are fueling research and creating startups. BIO5 Institute

Launched in 2001, the BIO5 Institute was named for the five colleges whose work inspired the facility: agriculture, engineering, medicine, pharmacy and science. BIO5 connects and mobilizes hundreds of world-class plant, animal and human bioscientists, engineers, physicians and computational researchers to develop creative solutions for complex challenges such as disease, hunger, water and food safety, and other health issues. This interdisciplinary approach has resulted in improved food crops, innovative diagnostics and devices, disease prevention strategies and promising new therapies. For more on BIO5, please see pages 65 – 100.

Recent achievements include:

HealthTech Connect is an invitationonly consortium designed to build opportunities for the startup, corporate, higher education, funding and economic development communities to advance Arizona’s cutting-edge innovations in health technology. Its first event was held in September at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

The Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center is working to find solutions for chronic pain and the opioid epidemic through a collaborative mindset and a multifaceted approach. CPAC will address the epidemic from all angles, including addiction, chronic pain, education, legislation, clinical trials and research. CPAC will also create collaborations with biomedical engineers to develop devices and technologies to help predict and prevent substance abuse, as well as help save lives in overdose situations. CPAC is managed by a board made up of one representative from each of the five colleges in UArizona Health Sciences.

University of Arizona Health Sciences

University of Arizona Health Sciences is one of the top-ranked academic medical centers in the Southwest. It includes the College of Medicine – Phoenix, College of Medicine – Tucson, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. In addition, 12 UArizona Health Sciences centers focus on cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, pain and addiction, and respiratory diseases; biomedical informatics, health technology innovation and simulation training; and precision health care and health disparities. UArizona Health Sciences employs nearly www.BizTucson.com

treat Alzheimer’s disease by mitigating neuroinflammation in the brain. The company started in spring 2020 during the inaugural semester of Designing Drugs: From Chemistry to Cure.

5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and pulls in more than $200 million in research grants and contracts annually.

Cliacept Inc. is a company founded by pharmaceutical science students that aims to develop an antibody to

People who suffer from migraines are reducing their pain and improving their quality of life thanks to pain specialists at the University of Arizona Health Sciences and their green light research. Dr. Mohab Ibrahim and Dr. Amol Patwardhan, both affiliated with CPAC, have been studying effects of green light exposure in rodents for several years. Ibrahim led a research team that completed the first clinical study to evaluate green light exposure as a potential preventive therapy for patients with migraine. Twenty-nine participants-all of whom had failed multiple traditional therapies--were prescribed green light exposure as part of the study. Overall, green light exposure reduced the number of headache days per month by an average of about 60%. Most participants in the study reported a more than 50% reduction in headache days per month.

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering offers 16 undergraduate degrees, many of which are in the biotech field. In fiscal year 2020, research expenditures comcontinued on page 36 >>> Fall 2021

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continued from page 35 bined in the College of Engineering and College of Optical Sciences totaled $53 million. The College of Engineering also has close ties with industry, including biotechnology companies such as Roche Tissue Diagnostics, BD and W.L. Gore. Much of the college’s research occurs in the biomedical engineering department, one of the few biomedical engineering programs housed in a university that also has a full hospital. Recent achievements include:

Biomedical Engineering and Optical Sciences Professor Judith Su received a $1.8 million grant last year for a sensor system called frequency locked optical whispering evanescent resonator, which takes advantage of a phenomenon called whispering gallery waves. These waves come in the form of sound: Whisper something from one end of a room with specially rounded walls, such as at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and a friend at the other end of the room can make out what you are saying. In Su’s Little Sensor Lab, researchers are working to sense tiny amounts – down to a single molecule – of everything from doping agents to biomarkers for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Lyme disease and COVID-19.

Philipp Gutruf, an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering department and Craig M. Berge faculty fellow, is an expert in optogenetics, which uses light to affect the brain’s neurons. This method could allow scientists to turn off neural signals that cause things such as chronic pain or depression.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Janet Roveda is the principal investigator of the Center to Stream Healthcare in Place, which recently received $3 million in National Science Foundation funding. The center, called C2SHIP, aims to develop clinically validated wearables that physicians can use to monitor patient health and provide “care-in-place” so patients don’t need to leave home.

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Jeong-Yeol Yoon, a professor of biomedical engineering, biosystems engineering, animal and comparative biomedical sciences and chemistry and biochemistry, recently submitted a patent for smartphone-based COVID-19 testing method. He was in the news a few years ago for a similar device designed to detect trace amounts of norovirus. They hope these portable, easy-to-use methods will allow nonscientists to test water safety out in the field, for example.

“Engineering and the biosciences are key to the college’s research strategy, from solutions for clean water and sustainable agriculture to better health care. The college’s expertise spans sensors, point-of-care diagnostics, advanced imaging, wireless and wearable technologies – all the way to cancer and traumatic brain injury research,” said David W. Hahn, the Craig M. Berge dean of the College of Engineering. “Importantly, our researchers also have the advantage of collaborating with the University of Arizona’s comprehensive health science center on breakthroughs that are improving individuals’ quality of life.” Tech Launch Arizona

The commercialization arm of the university, Tech Launch Arizona connects researchers and graduate and post-doctoral students with the technology and business community to maximize the impact of research, intellectual property and technological innovation. Licensing Director Rakhi Gibbons has been with TLA since it opened in 2013. Her goal from the start has been to ensure that the work being done at UArizona doesn’t just remain on campus. “It’s absolutely critical to have this function at a university if you want to create an impact,” she said. “Technology will die on the vine if you don’t have it.” Despite slowdowns in research suffered by universities around the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic, TLA helped spur growth in the commercialization of university inventions last fiscal year. Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, TLA received 274 invention disclosures – 11 more than

the previous year. TLA also executed 124 licenses and options for university inventions (29 more than the previous fiscal year), filed 391 patents (44 more than the previous year) and saw 100 patents issued (13 more than the previous year). In addition, the university launched 17 startups, which not only bring UA inventions to the world for the public good, but also create jobs and economic impact. “Our success is attributed to our team being dedicated and flexible, open to change in a remote environment,” Gibbons said. “When working remotely, it’s harder to connect with your team. We developed a good rhythm as a group and were able to keep things moving.” Gibbons said TLA is already working against established traditions as it works to get companies interested in Tucson happenings. She said she and her cohorts have to work against a coastal bias – companies seem more interested in what’s going on around Boston, for example. “Everybody was in a similar situation,” she said. “No one could easily travel. We were able to have conversations that we couldn’t have had. It opened up windows of opportunity.” Tech Parks Arizona

Tech Parks Arizona directs the UA Tech Park at Rita Road, UA Tech Park at The Bridges and the UA Center for Innovation with the goal of recruiting companies with connections to the university to locate at the facilities. “We are the intersection between academia and industry,” said Tech Parks Arizona Associate VP Carol Stewart. “All the key players are in our sandbox, especially in a cluster like bioscience.” Within the incubator network, UArizona Center for Innovation there are 55 start-up companies and an additional 10 seeking to enter the system within the next 30 days. It’s a diverse group: 28% of the companies served by UACI have female-led founders. The nationwide figure is just 6% located in incubators. UACI at the UA Tech Park at Rita Road & I-10 opened in 2003 and is the longest continuously operating incubator in Arizona. It’s part of an interaccontinued on page 38 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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continued from page 36 tive community where innovators and business leaders meet, a place where emerging companies and technology giants work side by side. The incubator is often referred to as the heartbeat of the park, which encompasses 1,267 acres and has 2 million square feet of space for high-tech offices, research and development and laboratory facilities. The park generated an economic impact of $2 billion statewide and an estimated $52.8 million in tax revenues for state, county and city governments in 2019. The newest addition to Tech Parks Arizona, UACI at Oro Valley, opened in December to support bioscience startups from the university and community. Several new companies are established at UACI:

TheraCea is a biotechnology company with a focus on developing fast and high-yield chemical processes for the preparation of diagnostic agents for biomedical imaging. The company is sponsored in the incubator by the Bioindustry Association of Southern Arizona.

Souvie Biodelivery is a drug delivery development company that employs nanotechnology to engineer, patent and market novel drug delivery platforms to drug delivery niche markets.

Cellstate Biosciences works with clients developing cellbased assays to follow the changes in cellular targets that characterize a disease, identify a physiological process, or explain the wanted and unwanted actions of a drug.

uPetsia is incorporating an engineered bacteria for dog and cat microbiota into dog treats and chews which provides hours of fresh breath. The company is sponsored in the incubator by the Oro Valley Chamber.

When it opens early next year, UA Tech Park at The Bridges will be home to a community of technology companies, just minutes from UArizona resources, a collective of research experts and robust talent pipeline. Long-term plans call for 1.2 million to 1.5 million square feet of developed office and laboratory space that could support roughly 5,000 to 6,000 employees on-site. The park will be 65 acres within a larger 350-acre multi-use development that will include recreation, education, retail and residential development. Startup companies connected with UACI come from UArizona, the community and across the globe. Businesses that locate at the parks are plugged into the collaboration and resources of the UArizona, a Tier 1 university ranked in the top 20 among U.S. public research institutions with more than $734 million in total research activity in fiscal year 2019, according to the National Science Foundation. “Being part of an innovation ecosystem affiliated with the university, provides us with the opportunity to engage with entrepreneurs and the community to bridge resources and accelerate the most promising inventions,” said UACI Executive Director Eric Smith.

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BizBIOSCIENCE

Accelerate Diagnostics

BAYER

BD

Building a

Biotech Base

Companies Advance Across Region By Rodney Campbell rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria, awarded Accelerate Diagnostics up to $578,000 to develop fiber optic technology to diagnose or assess the risk of sepsis. Accelerate will be eligible for up to $2.1 million in additional funds from CARB-X if the project meets certain milestones.

Bioscience companies with a presence in Tucson are developing solutions to medical challenges that run the gamut from microbiology to devices. The following are companies located in Tucson and the products they’re developing. Accelerate Diagnostics

Accelerate Diagnostics is an in-vitro diagnostics company that provides solutions for the challenge of antibiotics-resistant and hospital-acquired infections. Established in 1987, the company began research activity for microbiology solutions in 2004 and relaunched in 2012 as Accelerate Diagnostics Inc. to develop and commercialize its first diagnostic platform. Accelerate’s 2021 developments:

• Combating

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating research and development to fight the

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A study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy found that implementing the Accelerate Pheno® system helped Albany Medical Center Hospital in New York significantly improve laboratory workflow and multiple clinical outcomes for patients with Gram-negative bacteremia.

Bayer

As natural resources diminish, climate rises, and our population grows. Bayer Crop Science is reimagining how corn is grown in light of these issues from a greenhouse in Marana.

In 2017, Bayer built a seven-acre climate-controlled seed production facility that promotes an efficient and sustainable farming system. Using robotics and automation, the Marana team produces about four crop cycles annually. Since the Bayer Marana Greenhouse creates various climate conditions, farmers around the world can benefit from the latest innovations. Technology used in the greenhouse plays a vital role in allowing farmers to increase yields while using fewer resources. The greenhouse team is constantly growing, with more than 140 employees from diverse backgrounds and skill sets, including agronomic research specialists, biologists, engineers, environmental specialists, and data scientists. Bayer often looks to hire University of Arizona graduates since they represent the top tier of future talent. Virtual tours of the greenhouse are available; for more information, please www.BizTucson.com


Critical Path Institute

visit https://www.bayer.com/en/us/ marana. BD

The global medical technology company known as BD announced in April that it will construct a $65 million facility in Tucson that will be a hub for the company’s supply chain, serving as a final-stage manufacturing and sterilization center. The 120,000 square-foot facility will be built on approximately 32 acres at the northeast corner of Valencia and Kolb Road and is planned to open in mid2022. BD plans to add approximately 40 new jobs, including engineers, scientists, quality control specialists and other skilled talent. Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic engine, projects that BD’s investment will have a $122 million economic impact on the region over the next decade. BD operates more than 90 medical device and health care technology manufacturing and sterilization facilities globally and has a track record of sustainable operations. This facility will be one of the first in the world with an original design that will meet or exceed the most stringent environmental guidelines. “Tucson is the ideal location for critical infrastructure and was selected after a careful review of a number of alternative locations in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico,” said Alexandre Conroy, BD’s executive VP, integrated supwww.BizTucson.com

Edmund Optics

ply chain. “Arizona’s favorable business climate, the strength of its workforce and Tucson’s centrality to other parts of BD’s supply chain were key factors in the decision.” Critical Path Institute

The non-profit C-Path brings together patient groups, academic institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies from around the world to improve public health. Together, these stakeholders work to identify or create tools that can accelerate the medical product development and regulatory review process. C-Path manages collaborative teams and programs (currently 24), in which stakeholders combine intellectual and financial resources to generate solutions that facilitate the development of safe and effective medical products. C-Path’s programs focus on specific areas, patient populations, therapeutic indications or drug development and data sharing challenges. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 diabetes, rare/orphan diseases, neonatology data science, modelinformed drug development and drug safety testing. Founded by Dr. Raymond L. Woosley in 2005, C-Path opened in Tucson with six employees. Today, more than 100 scientists, pharmaceutical industry leaders and medical professionals are on staff at C-Path and make up its board. The institute’s global presence

Emagine Solutions Technology

includes a European headquarters in Dublin. Edmund Optics

Edmund Optics is a leading supplier of optics, imaging and photonics technology that has served a variety of markets including life sciences, biomedical, industrial inspection, semiconductor, research and development and defense since 1942. Edmund designs and manufactures a wide array of optical components, multi-element lenses, imaging systems, and optomechanical equipment, while supporting applications with volume production of stock and custom products. In February, Edmund opened an assembly and advanced design facility in Tucson, where the company has had a presence since 1998. The 21,225 square-foot facility expansion supports advanced design efforts and high-volume manufacturing services, including cleanroom assembly and incoming inspection with numerous testing capabilities such as MTF, straylight, thermal cycle, shock and vibration. “This new facility will allow Edmund Optics to build a larger collaborative partnership with Arizona Optics Initiative and the Arizona Technology Council,” said Robert Edmund, CEO and board chairman. “It solidifies our commitment to Tucson and AZTEC Optics Valley initiatives.” continued on page 42 >>> Fall 2021

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BizBIOSCIENCE

HTG Molecular Diagnostics

Kelpac Medical

NuvOx Pharma

continued from page 41 Emagine Solutions Technology

Emagine Solutions Technology is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council and was founded to expand access to diagnostic ultrasound technology. Last year, Emagine announced that it had received clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to market its VistaScan mobile ultrasound platform, which transforms a clinician’s cell phone or tablet into a portable ultrasound solution. The system consists of compatible FDA-cleared ultrasound probes that interface with the VistaScan software application. VistaScan’s proprietary patent-pending Dynamic Precise Point Measuring System enables a healthcare provider to maximize the accuracy of a mobile device’s touchscreen to make highly precise measurements on the ultrasound image, thereby increasing diagnostic performance and speed. “The velocity and complexity of modern medicine is becoming overwhelming, and putting the power of ultrasound into the pockets of clinicians so they can use it for real-time diagnosis right at the bedside is liberating and transformative,” said Dr. Berndt Schmit, section chief of emergency radiology at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson and president of Humanitarian Radiology Development Corps. 42 BizTucson

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HTG Molecular Diagnostics

HTG is focused on next-generationsequencing-based molecular profiling. The company’s proprietary EdgeSeq technology automates complex, highly multiplexed molecular profiling from solid and liquid samples, even when limited in amount. HTG’s customers use its technology to identify biomarkers important for precision medicine, to understand the clinical relevance of these discoveries and identify treatments. HTG’s highlights for the second quarter of 2021 include:

Total revenue increased by approximately 45% from the first to the second quarter.

Formed a new drug discovery business unit, HTG Therapeutics. This business unit is expected to leverage the company’s existing capabilities and expand upon the utility of the HTG EdgeSeq platform technology in the discovery of early stage drug candidates. By leveraging these profiling technologies earlier in the drug discovery process, HTG Therapeutics is expected to generate lead compounds faster, and with superior efficacy and toxicity profiles.

In July, HTG announced Dr. Vinodh Pillai, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Dr. Thomas Dörner, professor

of rheumatology and hemostaseology at Charité University Hospitals in Berlin, as recipients of its 2020 HTG EdgeSeq Autoimmune Panel Research Grants. Pillai was awarded the grant for his research, Autoimmune Basis of Castleman Disease, which examines important questions in this rare disease, with limited sample material, in the areas of novel biomarkers for diagnostics and classification and potential novel therapeutic targets. Dörner was awarded the grant for his research, alterations of key immune pathways in distinct B-cell subsets of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, which is intended to identify key pathways and possible biomarkers and therapeutic targets in different B-cell subsets, ultimately helping to refine the understanding of the role and relevance of different B-cell populations in SLE patients. Kelpac Medical

Founded in 1949, Kelpac Medical is the nation’s leading extruder of medical tubing and packaging. The company offers focused expertise in thermoplastic tubing extrusions and flexible films, pouches and bags for the medical devices industry. Its acquisition of Apollo Medical Extrusion enhances the company’s commitment to providing medical device manufacturers with innovative device continued on page 44 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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Reglagene

Sandvik Materials Technology

continued from page 42 component technologies. By combining engineering excellence, customized solutions and a global manufacturing footprint, Kelpac Medical delivers high-performance tubing and packaging for medical devices, while ensuring supply chain efficiencies in critical customer markets. NuvOx Pharma

NuvOx is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing a drug that improves the flow of oxygen from lungs to blood and from blood to tissue. More than 30 animal studies have shown therapeutic effect in seven different indications. Phase Ib/II clinical trials in stroke and oncology demonstrated safety and evidence of efficacy, and the company is preparing to run a trial in COVID-19 patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. This past April, NuvOx completed construction and initiated operation of its production facility for manufacturing its injectable pharmaceutical products at its Tucson facility on East 18th Street. The building features an 1,800 square-foot hard shell exterior space addition to the existing building. A 900-square-foot ISO 5 cleanroom is housed within the exterior space. Reglagene

A product of Professor Laurence Hurley’s research at the University of Arizona, Reglagene’s mission is to develop low-cost and non-invasive therapeutic solutions that program genes

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exploited by cancer to keep patients responsive to treatments. Hurley, now Reglagene’s CSO, discovered that unusual DNA structures called “quadruplexes,” found in many genes exploited by cancer and other diseases, are actually master controllers of gene expression. Sensing an opportunity to use this discovery for the benefit of patients, Hurley pioneered Quadruplex Master Switch Technology to enable the development of medicines that fight disease by controlling gene expression. Reglagene is applying QMST to the development of orally administered medicines that target abnormal genes and regulate their expression. Through regulating abnormal genes, Reglagene is facilitating abatement of life-threatening diseases such as prostate cancer and glioblastoma. Sandvik Materials Technology

Recruited to Tucson during the pandemic, Sandvik is a Sweden-based developer and manufacturer of advanced stainless steel and special alloys. The company’s local facility manufactures fine medical wire and components. Sandvik agreed to establish an office here in September 2020, working out details through video conferencing. No member of the team visited Tucson during the recruitment process, said Sun Corridor Inc. President & CEO Joe Snell. Sandvik leased 8,800 square feet of space near Tucson International Airport.

Sunquest Information Systems “The decision by Sandvik to expand its operations in Southern Arizona really validates that our position as a biotech center is strong and growing,” said Snell. “Sandvik is an incredible company whose presence benefits us greatly.” “We needed a West Coast location near our customers and a superior technical workforce, which we found at the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and Arizona State University,” said Sandvik Business Unit Medical Manager Gary Davies. “Tucson checked all the boxes for us.” Sandvik is among the world leaders in manufacturing ultra-fine wire and provides services that include:

Wire refinement (reduction, alloy composition and forming).

Surface treatment (wire coating, plating in nickel and gold, anodizing and electropolishing).

Value-added operations (clean-room processing, cut to length, coiling, mechanical assembly, lead finishing, twisting and stranding, straightening and packaging services).

Operational services (custom processes, product development, metallurgy consulting, lab testing, lean process optimization, rapid prototyping for custom cable solutions and technical training).

“The Tucson area and our new facility have several important features,” Davies said. “This adds to our manuwww.BizTucson.com


SynCardia Systems

facturing flexibility and brings us close to our customers, which is why we plan to use this site as our official showplace. The facility has a superior technical workforce and local support from the universities and small automation equipment manufacturers. That will be critical to our growth plan long-term as we continue to add operations beyond what is currently planned.” Sunquest Information Systems

Sunquest provides diagnostic informatics solutions to laboratories across the world. With wide-ranging technical and cross-discipline expertise, and equally deep business acumen, Sunquest transforms labs to meet today’s complex healthcare challenges and deliver next-level performance. Since 1979, Sunquest has helped laboratories and healthcare organizations enhance efficiency, improve patient care and optimize financial results. Its capabilities include multi-site, multi-disciplinary support for complex anatomic, molecular and genetic testing, and support engagement with physicians and patients outside the hospitals at the point-of-care. Sunquest also provides solutions for public health organizations through disease surveillance and outbreak management. Sunquest is headquartered in Tucson with offices in Calabasas, Calif., and India.

www.BizTucson.com

Vante BioPharm SynCardia Systems

SynCardia Systems’ mission is to give end-stage heart failure patients more time outside the hospital while awaiting a transplant. Headquartered in Tucson, SynCardia was founded in 2001 by renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Jack G. Copeland, biomedical engineer Richard G. Smith and interventional cardiologist Marvin J. Slepian. SynCardia is the sole manufacturer and provider of the world’s only commercially approved total artificial heart. In clinical use for more than 35 years, the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is the most widely used and extensively studied total artificial heart in the world. By partnering with, training and supporting healthcare teams at more than 140 transplant hospitals and heart failure programs in more than 20 countries, SynCardia helps create better outcomes for critically ill adults and adolescents whose best chance of survival is total heart replacement. When a donor heart isn’t available or isn’t an option, SynCardia provides a new heart without the wait for patients at risk of dying or becoming too sick to receive a transplant. Vante BioPharm

As a pioneer in radio frequency technology, Vante patented the first handheld plastic tube sealer more than 25 years ago and continues to be one of the world leaders in advancing technol-

Sunquest Information Systems

ogy for sealing, molding and welding plastic. Vante is a global company dedicated to the development of innovative technology and quality products for the medical manufacturing and biopharmaceutical industries. The company serves more than 500 customers in catheter manufacturing and biopharmaceutical companies, and works with more than 20 global partners to distribute equipment that improves product quality, process reliability and production output. Its dedicated research and development team designs all of its products and has been awarded more than 50 patents. Xeridiem Medical Devices

Xeridiem has been involved in the design and manufacture of minimally invasive delivery and access devices for more than 25 years. It partners with customers to offer solutions by using extensive development, engineering, QA & RA and manufacturing capabilities. As an outsourcing partner for product design and development, Xeridiem develops device concepts into a manufacturable design and creates the pathway to transfer the design into initial and full-scale production at its assembly and manufacturing facilities in Tucson. Xeridiem, founded in 1986, is part of the Spectrum Plastics Group.

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BizBIOSCIENCE

Saving Children Through Science

Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan’s Research a Regional Asset By Jay Gonzales As the bioscience industry gained a foothold in the region, an esteemed physician and world-renowned researcher has long devoted his career here to curing diseases and saving lives through science and medicine. Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan has served Tucson since 1995, working as a physician, a scientist, a researcher and a medical director leading efforts to cure and heal. Most recently, he was named medical director of the University of Arizona’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Research Center, where he oversees the center’s critical research and directs which projects get access to its top resources. It’s just one part of Ghishan’s significant role in the region’s burgeoning bioscience industry. His UArizona resume is extensive and distinguished: •

Chair, Department of Pediatrics

Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Physiology and Nutrition

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Fayez K. Ghishan, M.D., PANDA Endowed Director, Steele Children’s Research Center

Physician-in-Chief, Diamond Children’s Medical Center

Horace W. Steele Endowed Chair, Pediatric Research

Alan and Janice Levin Family Endowed Professor, Pediatrics

Medical Director, Clinical and Translational Sciences Research Center

Ghishan is perhaps most well-known to Tucsonans as the trailblazing force behind the Steele Children’s Research Center, a global leader in research and treatment of pediatric gastrointestinal disease whose mission was later expanded to include other critical research in children’s health. “Dr. Ghishan is a passionate advocate for children’s health and builds trust with his young patients and their families to deliver the best pediatric care,” said Dr. Michael Dake, senior VP for UArizona Health Sciences. “As

a professor of medicine in pediatrics, he shares his enthusiasm and knowledge with his students, and has mentored many early-career scientists who have become leaders in their specialties.” “I’ve been a doctor for 54 years, so my heart and my brain belong to the university,” Ghishan told BizTucson last year when he was named medical director of CATS Research Center. “When the university wants something, I need to always respond positively. “I have a vision of why I went to medicine,” he said. “My vision is to help patients. I can help them with my clinical skills or through research. That’s what I do. Vision without passion doesn’t work. I have passion for what I do.” His vision, when he was recruited to Tucson in 1995 from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, had three points of emphasis: recruiting top physicians, meeting clinical needs and establishing operations in translational research. continued on page 48 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 46 “Research moves medicine forward,” he said. “I knew there was opportunity in Tucson to build highly academic research clinics which would attract top medical students and provide the needed clinical care.” In recalling his early days here, Ghishan said he found willing partners in his passion for children’s health who had the capability of establishing the region as a leader in research, education and treatment. “When I would speak about establishing a children’s hospital during Steele Advisory Board meetings, one of the center’s founders, Joan Diamond, would nod and express interest,” Ghishan said. Ultimately, Diamond worked with Ghishan to open the first academic pediatric medical center in Arizona. The Diamond Children’s Medical Center opened in 2010 and Ghishan became the hospital’s physician-in-chief in 2011. The center has since become a model for its research and impact, generating millions of dollars in funding from the National Institutes of Health, PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers), the Arizona Elks, Father’s Day Council Tucson and individuals who have endowed some of the positions he holds. “Dr. Ghishan’s achievements in pediatrics have transformed the lives of children and their families,” UArizona President Robert C. Robbins said when the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center, known as PANDA, established a $5 million endowment in Ghishan’s name. “This endowment will play an essential role in continuing this research and training of future pediatricians at the Steele Children’s Research Center. I am incredibly grateful for the extraordinary support from PANDA and donors around the state that made this possible.” It’s all been part of Ghishan’s plan – his vision – for taking care of people through research, medicine and science. “Medicine and science offer us a priceless perspective,” Ghishan said. “Together, they remind us of the incredible privilege it is to continually create knowledge and then translate that to advance the wellbeing of the world’s children.”

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Alanna Pendergrass

Jill German

Cancer Tissue Stain

Roche Anchors Region’s Bioscience Industry Swiss Company Expanding its Local Presence By Rodney Campbell Founded in a Tucson industrial garage more than three decades ago, Roche Tissue Diagnostics in many ways kicked off the biotech boom in Southern Arizona. The company was started in 1985 as Ventana Medical Systems by Dr. Thomas Grogan, a University of Arizona pathologist. Like others in his field, Grogan sought to improve the process of detecting cancer in patients. His goal was to achieve better accuracy and shorter waiting periods for patients who anxiously awaited news about their condition. He and his team succeeded in creating an automated system that would revolutionize cancer testing. The company Grogan started 36 years ago has become a global leader in cancer diagnostics from its Oro Valley campus. Ventana was acquired by Roche, the world’s largest biotech company, for $3.4 billion in 2008. Today it provides more than 250 cancer tests and associated instruments and technologies, impacting more than 27 million patients around the world each year. “With some of the greatest scienwww.BizTucson.com

tific minds on our campus and in our company, I am excited not only for the future of Roche but for the future of healthcare,” said Jill German, head of Roche Tissue Diagnostics. “As we learn more about cancer biology, we are able to develop tests and treatments that can address the needs of each cancer patient, with the ultimate goal of finding cures. Some of the most exciting work in this area is taking place right here in Tucson.” One of many advantages of having Roche in the Tucson market is the magnet effect the company has on related industry. Sun Corridor Inc. President and CEO Joe Snell chalks that up to the visionary leadership Roche Tissue Diagnostics has had since Grogan started the company. Sun Corridor Inc. is also pleased that many of the highest-paying employers in the health-care sector – and the entire S&P 500 – are biotech companies, according to a 2019 analysis by The Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of large U.S. companies provided salaries for the study. “Having a world leader in diagnos-

tics right here in Tucson that was born out of the University of Arizona is a testament to the grit and determination of many leaders like Tom Grogan, Jill German and others along the way,” Snell said. “They really have put us on the map for biotechnology strength. We simply could not sell this region without Roche.” Roche employs about 1,700 full-time and contract employees in Oro Valley and Marana. The University of Arizona and Pima Community College have been a pipeline for the company, which also has close to 30 countries represented in its workforce. “Scientists, pathologists, engineers, business and manufacturing experts and marketing, regulatory and legal teams are among the professions that work together to improve healthcare for cancer patients, all from our campuses in Oro Valley and Marana,” German said. Roche has continually expanded its footprint in the region. It opened a 60,000-square-foot logistics center on Tangerine Road near I-10 in Marana continued on page 52 >>> Fall 2021

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BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 51 in 2016. In May, it broke ground on a matching facility next door to the existing building that will house instrument and service productions. The two buildings will connect through a corridor. Completion of the second Marana facility is expected next year. Roche also is augmenting its Oro Valley campus, including upgraded manufacturing space, a central utility plant and a center for employee and community events such as art exhibits in partnership with the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. “Roche Tissue Diagnostics is committed to local economic development and to the growth of the bioscience industry in the region as we expand our state-of-the art facilities, which ultimately make us more competitive globally,” said Roche Global Operations VP Himanshu Parikh. More than 40% of Roche employees take part in the company’s many charitable endeavors. Roche also supports UArizona’s Teachers in Industry Program (paid fellowships for educators), partners with the UArizona College of Engineering, has summer college internships, holds educational and recruitment events for UArizona and Pima College students and backs STEM learning through volunteerism, scholarships and donations in local schools. “We have a vision of a vibrant and diverse industry landscape for Tucson that draws talent from across the globe,” German said. “This will only be possible through industry, government and community groups working together to invest in the region, bolstered by a thriving K-20 education system. We are committed to making this vision a reality through our dedication to improving the community where we live, play and work.” When Roche purchased Ventana Medical Systems, there were ripples of community concern that the Swiss company might move operations out of Southern Arizona. With a workforce that lives in, works in and supports the metropolitan Tucson community, Roche instead keeps strengthening its presence, with continuous expansion and innovation. “We are honored to be part of the Tucson community,” German said.

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President University of Arizona

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PHOTO BY CHRIS MOONEY

Dr. Robert C. Robbins

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Q&A

BizBIOSCIENCE

with UArizona’s Dr. Robert C. Robbins

Finding Solutions to Society’s Challenges By Rodney Campbell A researcher and surgeon, Dr. Robert C. Robbins found a fitting home when he became the University of Arizona’s president in 2017. When Robbins moved to Tucson from the Texas Medical Center in Houston, he found an environment that was ready to grow its research efforts. Four years later, UArizona produces more than $734 million in annual research and is ranked in the top 20 of public research universities in the country. Much of that work takes place in the biotech field where faculty and researchers are finding solutions to society’s issues and staff is turning those ideas into commercial successes. Robbins says he is proud of UArizona’s role in helping to make Tucson a burgeoning biotech hub and promises more big things are coming from his university’s talented workforce.

How important is it for UArizona to have ways of making bioscience advancements and the ability to get products into the market?

At the University of Arizona, we have world-class faculty and researchers who are working on solutions to the world’s grand challenges every day. Translating their research into products on the market is one of the best ways we can have a positive impact as an institution. www.BizTucson.com

Through translation, we see technology innovations being developed to directly address needs, creating solutions as the need arises.

UArizona played a role in finding ways to battle COVID-19. What were some of the advancements that were made on campus?

Our Test, Trace, Treat strategy depended on COVID-19 research here at UArizona that was based on our

At the University of Arizona, we have world-class faculty and researchers who are working on solutions to the world’s grand challenges every day.

– Dr. Robert C. Robbins President, University of Arizona

existing strengths in immunology and related areas. I am very proud of the advancements that were made on campus, including the antibody test developed by Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich and Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, the Saline Gargle PCR test developed by Michael Worobey, wastewater-based epidemiology from one of our newest Regents professors, Ian Pepper, and the Covid Watch App developed by a team led by Joyce Schroeder in partnership with a nonprofit launched by a UArizona alumna now studying at Stanford. What’s an example of a good public-private bioscience partnership that the UArizona has going? The University of Arizona proudly collaborates across sectors, and we have a lot of strong public-private partnerships in the bioscience. Over a decade ago, UArizona developed its first incubator, the UArizona Center for Innovation, to support both university and community entrepreneurs. It is one of the leaders developing the innovation ecosystem in Southern Arizona. Today, it is recognized as the longest continuously running incubator in Arizona, with outposts across the region in collaboration with community champions. And last December, we celebrated the continued on page 56 >>> Fall 2021

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continued from page 55 grand opening of our new biosciences incubator in Oro Valley. This incubator’s first tenant is TheraCea Pharma, an Arizona-based biotechnology startup that develops fast and high-yield chemical processes for the preparation of diagnostic agents for biomedical imaging. This can be used to detect cancer as well as cardiological, neurological and infectious diseases. Why is Tucson such a good home for bioscience incubators? Tucson is home to incredible partnerships and collaboration across sectors, which in turn makes an excellent home for biosciences incubators. Certainly, UArizona’s role is significant, and translating research and supporting companies as they launch is only successful in unison with corporate partners and government support. Globally, corporations are partnering with universities to lead the charge on their R&D activities, and we are seeing small business rapidly grow into corporate giants. By collaborating with leaders across business, government and academia, we can emphasize the need for these new technologies to be designed with future-oriented goals that will empower our community and region. Competition for talent is always going to be an issue. How much effort is put into recruiting and retaining the brightest minds in the field? Talent recruiting has two meanings at UArizona – faculty and staff, as well as students. In terms of number of students we serve, the amount and quality of research we produce, we rank among the 2021 US News and World Report Top 100 U.S. National Universities and among the Top 100 Global Universities. Our incredible enrollment management and admissions team, led by Kasey Urquidez, has done heroic work to expand our capacity to attract and retain the best and brightest students, despite the pandemic. Before the pandemic, I personally traveled to high schools through Arizona, California and Texas to speak with students and guidance counselors and tell them about the amazing opportunities they would have at the University of Arizona. Faculty and staff want to come to the University of Arizona because of our longstanding culture of interdisciplinary collaboration, and the singular opportunities for impact that can be found here through centers like the BIO5 Institute, which has been out in front of what we now call the Fourth Industrial Revolution for more than a decade. What do you see as UArizona’s most important priorities in bioscience over the next decade? We need to operate and continue our mission in a world that has been changed by the pandemic. One of five pillars in our strategic plan – grand challenges – provides a roadmap for tackling critical problems facing society and leveraging 4IR advancements and our existing strengths in research. It tackles pressing grand challenges in the areas of space, human and intelligent systems, health, and the natural and built environment.

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Mara G. Aspinall

Fletcher McCusker

Joann MacMaster

Boosting Biotech A Look at Three Regional Investors By Rodney Campbell It takes people and products to fund success in the biotech market. Just as important is the funding that makes those dreams a reality. Before a COVID-caused dip in investments last year, venture capitalists poured a combined $36 billion into biotech companies nationwide in 2018 and 2019, according to BioPharma Dive, a newsletter and website that covers news and trends shaping biotech and pharma. Through the University of Arizona and a skilled workforce, Southern Arizona is drawing its share of that money. “New ideas in the bioscience arena take significant investment to help bring them from the ‘bench to the bedside,’ as they say,” said Sun Corridor Inc. President and CEO Joe Snell. “Venture capital is key to this. We have made great strides in recent years with venture capital firms like UAVenture Capital, BlueStone Venture Partners and others. There is a lot of attention in this area, and we are making progress.” Here’s a look at three individuals and organizations making significant investments in Tucson-area biotech. 58 BizTucson

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Mara Aspinall Managing Director and Co-Founder, BlueStone Venture Partners

Aspinall has significant biotech experience, having served as president and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems and named the Arizona Biosciences Leader of the Year by the Arizona Biotechnology Association in 2016. She recently was appointed to the board of directors for Critical Path Institute, an independent, nonprofit dedicated to bringing together experts from regulatory agencies, industry and academia to collaborate and improve the medical product development process. “My time leading Ventana inspired me to do more to move the industry forward,” Aspinall said. “I love being part of companies that break tradition, take risks and create leading products. That is what the strongest entrepreneurs do.” She’s also the co-founder of the Arizona State University School of Biomedical Diagnostics, an accomplishment she calls the most meaningful of her career. “Working with the next generation of

healthcare leaders is what drives me,” Aspinall said. “We should not have needed a pandemic to prove that diagnostics are critical to effective patient care, but it is heartening to see so many executives go back to school to learn about the power of diagnostics.” Creating more opportunities for women is also among Aspinall’s goals; she was named to Women Inc. Magazine’s Most Influential Corporate Directors List in 2019. That applies to the world of venture capital, which skews heavily male. Aspinall said 94% of venture capitalists are men, a figure she calls “unacceptable.” “There is more money going into risk capital than ever before, but the composition of the industry has not changed in 10 years,” she said. “It’s also sad to see that the number of investments in women-led firms dropped to a new low in 2020. We need to make conscious efforts to change this situation. Diversity isn’t about being politically correct; it is profitable. New viewpoints and new networks fuel success.” continued on page 60 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizBIOSCIENCE continued from page 58 BlueStone concentrates on supporting companies that operate in the life-sciences space in the Southwest. Aspinall sees great potential for further biotech growth in Tucson. “Tucson is like an unpolished diamond in the desert,” she said. “The city is a fantastic place to live and to work but not enough people know that. Costs to run a business are lower in Arizona than in any other southwestern state. We have great talent but we need more companies to start here and to grow here. We have the building blocks for a great ecosystem, but we need to reach critical mass.” Joann MacMaster CEO, Desert Angels

MacMaster has been on both sides of the venture capital coin. She was part of Tech Launch Arizona’s leadership team from 2013 to 2020 before joining Desert Angels in her present position. “Building a startup company requires significant effort but building a startup company in the biotech space may present a few unique challenges that require additional time and capital,” said MacMaster, a Desert Angels member for 10 years. “I joined TLA just after it came together and had the honor to be part of developing those startup companies. It is truly rewarding to see the right team connect at the right time and with the right plans. “However, the gap between executing a license and moving toward market is significant. Desert Angels can help bridge some of that gap by connecting founders to mentors, advisors and investment at a critical time to help their companies advance. It’s exciting now to be on the investor side of the conversation, working to help these companies move forward.” Founded in 2000, Desert Angels is a Tucson-based non-profit organization of investors that seeks opportunities to invest in regional startup and early stage companies. The group has invested more than $60 million to help more than 130 companies get started in Southern Arizona. Approximately 40% of Desert Angels’ invested portfolio of companies are biotech-related (pharmaceutical, diagnostic, other medical technologies and digital health). 60 BizTucson

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The organization is ranked first in the Southwest and seventh in the country among Angel groups. “Angel investing strengthens startup companies, which creates new jobs, attracts new resources to our community, and has a positive regional economic impact,” MacMaster said. MacMaster, a former president of the Arizona Business Incubation Association, believes that conditions are right for biotech entrepreneurs to find success in the state. “Arizona has a strong network of talent, startups, associations, partners and funding sources that are all actively supporting our biotech community,” she said. “It is an exciting time to build a biotech company here in Arizona.”

Tucson is indeed the next Austin, San Diego, Boston when it comes to biotech and biomedical. –

Fletcher McCusker, CEO UAVenture Capital

Fletcher McCusker CEO, UAVenture Capital

McCusker has steadily ascended through the healthcare field, moving from administrator to COO to CEO. As he gained experience and insight, he learned that venture capital played a vital role in advancing businesses. He helped start two healthcare-related companies, Providence Service Corporation and Sinfonia Healthcare. Providence was the first home-based mental health care company in the world. The Tucson-based company brought in more than $1 billion a year in revenue and delivered more than 10 times upon initial investments. McCusker and Providence CFO Michael Deitch retired and started Sinfonia, the first integrated health care company in

the U.S., with their money and invited others to invest. Sinfonia combined physical and behavioral health under one roof. Thanks to partnerships with Tech Launch Arizona, Sinfonia teamed with the Medication Management Center in the College of Pharmacy to eventually create SinfoniaRX. The new business had a program that allowed insurance companies to compare physician-written prescriptions to other medications in seconds to determine any conflicts or issues. Sinfonia was sold for $130 million after just a few years. “There is no reward in venture capital without risk, and really risking everything,” McCusker said. “It is more art than science and you learn to trust your instincts about what ideas, patents, products on campus might prove valuable to a world market. We also want to believe in the faculty partner and embrace their lifelong passion about their specialty. We invest as much in people as we do product.” UArizona hired Dr. Robert C. Robbins as its president around the same time Sinfonia was sold. McCusker and his team met with Robbins, an inventor himself, to design a fund to help UArizona-led companies in optics, biomedicine, space, defense and software. Investors combined to put approximately $30 million into the fund and UAVenture Capital was on its way. “My interest was to give back, create an environment where others could benefit from risk capital and mentoring, improve the reputation of the UofA and help put the Tucson region on the map,” McCusker said. “None of this occurs without the UofA and the leadership of (Robbins) and (Senior VP for Research and Innovation) Betsy Cantwell. The university has always been a robust environment for the creation of ideas. Now, we can demonstrate they can also commercialize.” McCusker also serves as chair of the Rio Nuevo Board, Downtown Tucson’s most important investor. He said the community is on the verge of making big moves in the biotech arena. “Tucson is indeed the next Austin, San Diego, Boston when it comes to biotech and biomedical,” he said. “We are still, largely, undiscovered, but wait three to five years.”

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Renderings of UArizona’s new Applied Research Building, to be completed in 2023.

World-Class Research for Real-World Needs By David Pittman Construction of an $85 million, three-story building is underway at the University of Arizona that will house state-ofthe-art equipment and technology to advance research in science and engineering and improve connectivity by bringing various programs at the university into a single location. Groundbreaking for the 80,000-square-foot Applied Research Building at the southeast corner of East Helen Street and North Highland Avenue took place June 29. The structure is expected to be completed in January 2023. “The co-location of multiple, interrelated research programs will create a hub that enables new opportunities for Fourth Industrial Revolution research that will help the university recruit and retain recognized faculty, as well as increase federal and industry funding,” said UArizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins. “The ARB will focus on expanding several areas of research that have resulted in the university being ranked among the top 100 research institutions in the world.” The facility will connect faculty across many distinct scientific endeavors such as healthcare, aviation, aerospace, material science, optics, astronomy and mechanical, electrical, computer and industrial engineering. Although no classes will be taught in the ARB, students can access the building’s facilities to conduct undergraduate and graduate research. 62 BizTucson

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“The ARB represents a truly remarkable physical space for the university’s applied research programs to flourish and accelerate,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, UArizona’s SVP for research and innovation. “Beyond attracting and reinforcing our industry partners – including companies such as Raytheon, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin – research conducted in the ARB will translate into major societal impacts, from the development of wearables and noninvasive imaging for better healthcare outcomes to the construction of advanced sensors for modern autonomy, robotics and AI applications. The ARB will allow us to apply world-class research to practical, real-world needs.” The building is being designed and constructed by the McCarthy|SmithGroup design-build team. Both McCarthy Building Companies and SmithGroup are national firms with regional headquarters and centers of excellence in Arizona. Funding for the structure was allocated by state government. David Hahn, dean of the UArizona College of Engineering, said construction of the building could attract high-quality professors and students here. “As we compete with other top universities for talent, like faculty talent and student talent, it is this type of facility that continued on page 64 >>> www.BizTucson.com

IMAGE COURTESY ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS

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IMAGES COURTESY ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS

Dr. Robert C. Robbins UArizona President

The ARB will focus on expanding several areas of research that have resulted in the university being ranked among the top 100 research institutions in the world. – Dr. Robert C. Robbins, President, UArizona

continued from page 62 will allow us to improve those efforts and, in fact, beat out other universities for the very best students and the very best faculty,” he said. To facilitate cutting-edge applied research, the ARB will house a variety of specialized spaces. To keep the university at the forefront of space science and exploration, it will serve as a world-class test and integration center for satellites, probes and spacecraft. The building will offer a range of facilities to enable this, including: High-bay payload assembly areas used for constructing high-altitude stratospheric balloons and nanosatellites, also known as “CubeSats.” A large-scale thermal vacuum chamber that simulates environmental conditions in space to test balloon and satellite performance. A nonreflective, echo-free room called an anechoic chamber to test antennae for command, control and data-relay purposes. A large, dynamic testing lab for testing the performance of a range of objects, from airplane wings to sensors.

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Among the many programs and laboratories that will benefit from the new building is the university’s Imaging Technology Laboratory. Currently located off campus, the lab is a world-leading supplier of advanced scientific imaging sensors. Technology created by the lab is commonly used for applications such as satellite imagery and in-camera systems used on university-run telescopes. The ARB will provide the lab with additional space and cross-campus collaboration opportunities. The building also will connect researchers in advanced manufacturing who are working to design and construct strong, lightweight, accessible materials for applications such as autonomous vehicles and advanced flight systems. UArizona ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. As part of the project, the Highlands Underpass – used by bicyclists and pedestrians to cross East Speedway Boulevard – will be improved and realigned to provide safer crossings where it intersects with East Helen Street.

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SPECIAL REPORT 2021

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

BIO5 INSTITUTE

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UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

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Collaborative Research Leads to By Romi Carrell Wittman The BIO5 Institute, the University of Arizona’s crown jewel of discovery, research and innovation in the biosciences, turns 20 years old this year. It’s a landmark achievement, and one that has resulted in major interdisciplinary advances in bioscience, biomedicine and biotechnology. BIO5 began as a simple yet innately complex idea: Serve as a hub for collaborative research that would produce bold and innovative solutions to complex biological challenges like aging, hunger, disease, water and food sustainability, and other public health issues. The idea was not to build something around a single discipline or simply to house people with different disciplines in the same building. The goal was to tackle major challenges affecting humankind by leveraging and bringing together five core disciplines at UArizona: agriculture, engineering, medicine, pharmacy and basic science.

Peter Likins, UArizona president from 1997 to 2006, and UArizona benefactor Thomas Keating were instrumental in getting BIO5 off the ground. Likins’ vision was to create a place – a physical environment – as well as a collaborative culture, that would bring together and nurture researchers from different fields, clearing the way for new innovations and breakthroughs that might otherwise not be found. “It became evident … that the opportunity for advancement wasn’t in a (single) core discipline, but in the interface between disciplines,” Likins said. “Interdisciplinary research was in the air. The climate was right to create BIO5, and that’s important because not every university has that.” Keating, a longtime volunteer and donor to UArizona, said Likins and Eugene Sander, then dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and vice provost, approached him

BIO5’s COVID-19 Research:

Production of specimen collection kits

Examples of BIO5-affiliated COVID-19 Research Efforts Leveraging TRIF Support:

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Important Solutions about the “project” that would become BIO5. “I well understood the concept of collaborative research,” Keating said of his interest in this project. Likins said Keating’s support was critical. “We needed leadership, and Thomas Keating helped us get across the finish line.” While Keating provided much of the initial funds to get the project off the ground, it was apparent the entity would need a permanent funding source if it was to survive. Likins, in partnership with Arizona State University President Michael Crow and the Arizona Board of Regents, approached the Arizona Legislature about instituting a sales tax to fund biological research at each of Arizona’s three state universities. Initially, the concept was met with a great deal of resistance. Likins and Crow lobbied hard for the funding, making the argument that this research could lead not only

to scientific breakthroughs, but also commercialization and other knowledge-based, Fourth Industrial Revolution – 4IR – global economic opportunities. Ultimately, a 0.6% sales tax increase was approved by Arizona voters in 2000 which resulted in funding for K-12 initiatives as well as higher education. Called the Technology and Research Initiative Fund, or TRIF, each of Arizona’s three universities use their portions to promote university research, development and technology transfer related to the knowledge-based global economy. With all the stars in alignment, BIO5 launched in 2001 and Vicki Chandler served as its first director. “Vicki was the MVP of the operation,” Likins said. “She was in there with a hardhat making sure they built it right. She influenced

Genomic sequencing

Stress reduction strategies

Diagnostic testing

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Novel respiratoryassist device

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Tracking of COVID-19 in Arizona

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PHOTOS COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA BIO5 INSTITUTE

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BizSCIENCE continued from page 71 the building’s creation to make sure it worked well for everyone. We started with a world-class facility that gave us an edge.” During her seven-year tenure, Chandler not only oversaw development and construction of BIO5’s state-of-the-art facility on the UArizona campus; she also helped build a critical research infrastructure. After she stepped down to focus on other research, physcianresearcher Dr. Fernando Martinez was named the new BIO5 director. “I became director in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. I knew there would be large budget cuts, but I accepted that because I was highly enthusiastic about the BIO5 idea,” Martinez said. Martinez looks back on his service fondly, especially his work with UArizona’s then VP for Research Leslie Tolbert and the deans of the five founding colleges of BIO5. “Nothing is more important for progress in science than bringing together the best scientists,” he said. “Seeing so many faculty thrive and excel in translating their knowledge into instruments to improve human health and well-being, many of them housed in the Keating building, is by far my fondest memory.” Jennifer Barton took the BIO5 reins in 2015. A professor of biomedical, electrical, computer and biosystems engineering, optical sciences and medical imaging, Barton said BIO5’s mission is more critical than ever. Resilient aging, microbiomes, infectious diseases, technology for health, and precision medicine are just some of the areas BIO5 researchers are addressing.

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– Peter Likins Former President University of Arizona

When asked which element of BIO5 is her favorite, Barton said that’s like a parent trying to choose a favorite child. Rather, she said, the people and culture of BIO5 resonate deeply with her. “The fantastic investigators we get to work with, the trainees that have come out of our labs and have gone on to prestigious positions at labs around the world – BIO5 isn’t a degree-granting organization, but we train thousands of people each year,” she said. While BIO5 may not confer degrees, it plays a large role in educating and training the next generation of scientists. Its KEYS Research Internship is a seven-week summer program for Ari-

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Interdisciplinary research was in the air. The climate was right to create BIO5, and that’s important because not every university has that.

zona high school students who have an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). They work alongside top UArizona faculty on active research projects. Past interns have contributed to research developing better ways to detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, asthma and diabetes. Nearly 600 students from across the state have completed KEYS since it began in 2007, with more than 60% coming from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented or underserved in STEM degrees and careers. BIO5’s impact goes well beyond advances in biological research or training of future scientists and researchers. UArizona estimates BIO5 is directly responsible for bringing $1 billion to the Arizona economy, including the launch of 55 new spin-out companies. BIO5 was drastically affected by the COVID-19 shutdown and for a time the building operated with critical personnel only while safety protocols were established regarding number of people allowed in spaces, sanitization, distancing and masking. Faculty and staff established ways to keep work progressing without coming into the labs. Barton said, “Our investigators are wonderfully creative. It was quite challenging, but there were many bright spots.” BIO5 played a large role in the university’s pandemic response. Betsy Cantwell, senior VP for research, innovation and impact at UArizona, said, “BIO5’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic are a shining example of how this institute offers critical leadership, know-how and scientific discovcontinued on page 74 >>>

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BizSCIENCE continued from page 72 ery when and how it is most needed.” BIO5 quickly deployed a round of competitive seed grants for the sole purpose of quick-starting COVID-19 research capacity. Thirteen projects were selected based on their goal to help the people of Arizona, potential return on investment and team-based approach. Funded project areas included the development of novel therapeutics; tracking and prediction of disease spread; prediction of patient needs; exploration of the virus’s survivability in specific environments; understanding immunologic risk factors for severity of COVID-19; and promotion of wellness during social isolation. UArizona President Robert Robbins said it’s BIO5’s very nature that enables it to pivot quickly, as it did during the pandemic. “The BIO5 strategy takes advantage of the rapid change around us, aggregates diverse expertise and knowledge, and prepares students for future success by integrating them into transformational learning experiences.” Barton is excited for the opportunities that lie ahead, among them getting

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Dr. Robert C. Robbins President University of Arizona

the word out to companies and industry that might benefit from the Keating

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The BIO5 strategy takes advantage of the rapid change around us, aggregates diverse expertise and knowledge, and prepares students for future success.

Bioresearch Building’s state-of-the-art environment. “I still run into people in Tucson that don’t realize that we have fantastic facilities and equipment for them to use,” she said. “We have investigators with deep expertise here to help and partner.” Cantwell said BIO5 is a critical element in UArizona’s research and innovation ecosystem and is a vital part of UArizona’s land-grant mission. “By partnering with many UArizona colleges, departments, centers, institutes and innovation allies including Tech Launch Arizona, BIO5 translates research to the marketplace where it can be readily used to help humankind.” Robbins said BIO5 is critical to UArizona’s core mission of continuous improvement in education and innovation, something he said is necessary to develop the next generation of adaptive problem solvers capable of tackling the huge challenges facing the world. “BIO5 has had an incredible impact both locally and beyond,” Robbins said. “I am incredibly proud to be celebrating BIO5’s 20 years of excellence.”

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BizSCIENCE Judith Su

Dr. Janko Nikolich-Žugich,

Floyd “Ski” Chilton

Interdisciplinary Approach Makes BIO5 an International Model Science Without Boundaries Inspires Biomedical Solutions By Romi Carrell Wittman When the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona was first conceived 20 years ago, it was ahead of its time. The concept of creating a space where scientists, engineers, biologists, ecologists, physicians and other specialists would gather to work collaboratively to address the world’s health and environmental challenges was just emerging but was rarely practiced. Today, BIO5 is an international model of how to meld the disciplines of agriculture, engineering, medicine, pharmacy and basic science to create novel solutions for pressing biological challenges. In the past 20 years, researchers at BIO5 have developed dis<<<

that could lead to prevention. One focus area is the development of technologies that can assess conditions quickly to aid in identifying causes of infectious diseases or chronic illnesses. For example, Judith Su and her lab have developed revolutionary sensing technology that can detect biomarkers without invasive testing and provide results quickly. Currently, the lab’s research measures biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, Lyme disease, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Su also works with teams that measure water, air and other environmental conditions to monitor particulates that can trigger brain, heart and www.BizTucson.com

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ease prevention strategies, new drug therapies, innovative diagnostics and devices, and improved food sustainability, said Lisa Romero, BIO5’s executive director of public affairs, communications and engagement. Examples of bold initiatives are found in every lab in the institute’s home, the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building. Research teams range in size and scope, and often include national consortia partnerships with other major research centers and the private sector, as well as students. Researchers within BIO5 seek to understand how diseases take hold within the body to determine key biomarkers

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lung infections. Su is a BIO5 researcher and associate professor of biomedical engineering and optical sciences. “Right now, these sensors are housed in a large machine in the lab, but the goal is to engineer a hand-held device,” Su said, noting that a start-up company in Italy, Femtorays Technologies, has already licensed the technology. The company is interested in developing a miniature sensor platform. BIO5 also has initiatives in the areas of precision medicine and wellness. Floyd “Ski” Chilton is a BIO5 member and professor of nutritional sciences and director of the Precision Wellness Initiative, a new center under development at BIO5. Chilton’s work looks at the genetic and nongenetic variations that interact with the modern Western diet in select populations, and how these interactions can lead to inflammation and inflammatory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Examples of study groups include African ancestry populations versus European ancestry and indigenous American populations versus Caucasian populations. “Human variability is complex, and that’s putting it mildly,” Chilton said. “You have to look at genetics and genomics, metabolism, family history, environmental and dietary exposure, for example. Predicting who’s more susceptible to which diseases and be able to accurately understand the gene environment interactions, diet interactions – there’s an immense amount of complexity.” Chilton said his research cannot be

Michael Johnson

done without a multi-disciplinary team of experts who can help develop appropriate applications, and it was BIO5’s ability to bring together these teams that attracted him to Tucson from his home in North Carolina three years ago. This focused individual and population-based research can provide a wide range of opportunities that benefit society, including a long-sought pathogenetic mechanism that underscores the different biologic behavior of inflammatory diseases in different racial and ethnic populations and discovering new biomarkers of disease aggressiveness for early diagnostic and therapeutic intervention. Other studies hope to reveal new therapeutic strategies to affect disease aggressiveness using precision genebased dietary wellness and/or pharmacologic interventions, as well as create therapeutic foods and supplements that optimize immune system and brain development for different populations around the world. “We’re going to take a very different approach to medicine by appreciating the complexity of this research and ensuring the right team is in place to be able to personalize and offer precision healthcare to the public,” Chilton said. Another unique study examining the relationship between immunity, inflammation and aging is led by Dr. Janko Nikolich-Žugich, BIO5 member and head of UArizona’s Immunobiology department and co-director for the Arizona Center on Aging. Outcomes from this project will have far-reaching potential across many dis-

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Deepta Bhattacharya

ciplines. The project is served by an advisory team of researchers that includes immunobiology professors Felicia Goodrum and Michael Johnson, associate professor of basic medical sciences and director of the Women’s Health and Research Center, Melissa HerbstKralovetz, and professor of physiology, Meredith Hay – all of whom are members of BIO5. The study looks at how the immune system breaks down as we age, often leading to inflammation that can trigger other chronic illnesses that affect overall quality of life. “When the body’s immune system is threatened, one of the first responses is inflammation, which can act to protect the body until it heals. As we age, this response can weaken, leading to chronic infection that can make the body more vulnerable to infections, auto-immune or malignant diseases,” Nikolich-Žugich said. These can include Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. “All degenerative diseases have two things in common: aging, which is the only common factor, and inflammation, which is the response to infection and can enhance the risks of more chronic conditions,” he explained. Nikolich-Žugich said the goal is to better understand how the immune system functions when threatened with inflammatory conditions and develop new therapies that can prevent the development of chronic conditions. “Ultimately, we want to generate knowledge and turn that into products continued on page 78 >>>

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PHOTOS COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA BIO5 INSTITUTE

Felicia Goodrum


BizSCIENCE continued from page 77 that can provide positive outcomes for patients.” Members of the advisory team are conducting their own investigations into the impact of inflammation and how it affects cardiovascular disease, women’s health, cancer risks, dementia and COVID-19. Last year, Nikolich-Žugich applied his research to a large-scale project in response to COVID-19. Working with another BIO5 researcher, Deepta Bhattacharya, professor of immunobiology, and a team of specialists within BIO5, they developed one of the country’s most accurate antibody tests, with a false-positive rate of less than 1 in 5,000. “We initially set out to establish a mechanism for large-scale antibody testing with the goal of understanding what fraction of the state might be affected,” Bhattacharya explained. “We were looking at what professions might be at a higher risk, who might be immune, and that gradually shifted to understanding vaccine responses, which is a much better way to get to immunity.

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more vital for us each year. It is critical as a nexus for our life sciences researchers.” “The spectrum of research that happens at BIO5 is really important, from very basic to clinical and translational to human health,” said Goodrum. “All of it impacts the work that we do. So much of the pandemic response has leaned on decades and decades of research, investment and outcomes, particularly in the last 20 years with previous COVID viruses. If it were not for that research, we would not have a vaccine today. And that is our mission at BIO5 – to develop ways to improve people’s lives.” Dr. Michael Abecassis, dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson, agreed. “True and meaningful scientific innovation, in an era when technology advances exponentially over time, requires inter-dependent and transdisciplinary collaborations that can only be conceived and implemented in the right setting,” he said. “BIO5 provides a unique forum in which different disciplines can leverage their expertise to advance medical science in truly impactful ways.” Biz

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“When you put multidisciplinary teams together, you can really do a lot of things that, as an individual laboratory, you would never be able to do.” The Statewide Antibody Testing Initiative received emergency-use authorization from the Federal Drug Administration in April 2020 and final approval last fall. Antibody tests can determine who has been exposed to COVID-19 and can potentially reveal who may have an immune response to the virus. This was just one of many BIO5affiliated projects initiated during the pandemic. Over the last 20 years, seed grants and strategic investments in infrastructure, logistical and technological assets, labs and staff expertise leveraged the Technology and Research Initiative Fund, or TRIF, to support quick-start COVID-19 research efforts. “BIO5 was founded two decades ago to lead in Arizona’s bioeconomic growth and to create solutions to the world’s biggest challenges,” said Shane Burgess, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Our college was cardinal to BIO5’s conception and realization, and BIO5 has become

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BizSCIENCE

Meredith Hay

Roberta Diaz Brinton

BIO5 Research & Innovation From Functional Foods to Regenerative Science By Mary Minor Davis At any given time, there are hundreds of studies underway in the labs of the University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute, with researchers tackling some of the world’s most important health and environmental challenges and resulting in promising discoveries and novel innovations. “The BIO5 network has enabled collaboration across campus that has facilitated high impact interdisciplinary work,” said Carmala Garzione, dean of the UArizona College of Science. “Faculty and students have a supportive network of peers and research infrastructure that makes it easier to pursue valuable research and innovation.” The following are just a few amongst the broad spectrum of current projects by BIO5 investigators: Vascular Dementia Meredith Hay Meredith Hay, a member of BIO5 and a professor of physiology leads a multidisciplinary research group that is studying the role of inflammation in dementia. “Specifically, we’re trying to understand how, as we age, chronic inflammatory diseases affect and contribute to vascular cognitive impairment and dementia,” she said. “When you have chronic inflammation, it results in the activation of cytokines or chemicals that drive circulation in the brain,” Hay explained. “When you have too much activity, this is called <<<

Alzheimer’s Disease Roberta Diaz Brinton In 2019, Roberta Diaz Brinton, a leading researcher in Alzheimer’s disease, received one of the largest grants in UArizona Health Sciences history. Brinton is a BIO5 member, professor of pharmacology, and director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science. Awarded by the National Institute on Aging, the $37.5 million grant supports Brinton’s clinical trial to research the first potential regenerative therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is also a partner. “Both organizations and UArizona were willing to support an incredibly bold idea – that the Alzheimer’s brain can regenerate itself,” Brinton said. Brinton started her work more than

25 years ago as a graduate student at UArizona. Since then, research has consistently shown that allopregnanolone, a naturally produced neurosteroid, has the potential to promote neural stem cell regeneration. The five-year, national multi-site Phase 2 clinical trial to determine the steroid’s effectiveness as a treatment is set to begin later this year. Functional Foods Monica Schmidt Monica Schmidt considers herself the largest grower of soybeans in Arizona. With a focus on plant biotechnology, Schmidt, a BIO5 researcher and associate professor in the School of plant sciences, conducts ongoing research into how soybeans can be engineered to deliver more protein to consumers. According to Schmidt, 85% of the world’s population derives its daily protein from plants, with soybeans the number one U.S. exported crop (surpassing corn). Add to that, the United Nations predicts the world population will increase by 2 billion in the next 30 years. With nutritionists recommending that 15%-25% of the average daily calorie intake be protein, Schmidt said it became clear that higher protein-producing soybeans were worth additional study. “Soybean is on its way to global food domination because it is an excellent, sustainable high-protein food source,” she added. “Because the body doesn’t www.BizTucson.com

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a cytokine storm, which is an increase in these chemicals. This affects the blood vessels, resulting in a decrease of neuronal function, which in turn leads to cognitive impairment.” Hay said vascular dementia affects about 40% of the population. Her work has led to two patents that serve as the foundation for the development of a novel therapy to treat vascular dementia, now in clinical trials. Working with Tech Launch Arizona, Hay started ProNeurogen, a company based on inventions arising out of research in neuroscience and vascular neurophysiology at UArizona.

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Dr. Fernando Martinez

store protein, it is necessary to replace your protein levels every day.” Along with population shifts, dietary changes will continue to add to the demand. More Westerners are turning to vegetarian diets, while Asian nations, including China, are seeing a shift to more meat intake, she said. At the same time, 15% of the world’s population is estimated to be at risk for protein deficiency by 2050. “Based on these eyebrow-raising statistics, we know we’re going to need more soybeans, more food supplements, more everything,” she said. “We are trying to get more protein for the same amount of nutrients and land use.” Schmidt works on modifying soybeans with team members in functional genomics (a field of molecular biology that attempts to describe gene functions and interactions using data) who can help her assess various mutations of proteins. “I always have an end goal to my work, and my end goal is to see the results of my work on plates at the dinner table and in the feed buckets for livestock,” she said. “It’s taken 15-20 years, but I think I’ll see that in my lifetime.” Asthma and Airway Disease Dr. Fernando Martinez Dr. Fernando Martinez, a BIO5 member, professor of pediatrics, and director of the Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center, has spent more than 20 years studying the relationship between microbiomes and their impact on human health and wellness, with a focus on pediatrics. What he’s discovered is that while some bacteria can be harmful and lead to infectious and chronic diseases, there is also helpful bacteria. In the case of pediatric respiratory diseases such as asthma, before the

Dr. Anita Koshy

rise of genomics – the study of all of a person’s genes, the genome, including interactions of those genes with each other and with the person’s environment – it was believed that certain bacteria were predictors of asthma in children who were exposed. His research has found the opposite. Children who

Faculty and students have a supportive network of peers and research infrastructure that makes it easier to pursue valuable research and innovation.

– Carmala Garzione, Dean UArizona College of Science

were regularly exposed to certain environments, including daycare, who were raised in agricultural environments or had older siblings were less likely to experience asthma, even as they grew into adulthood. “So, we came up with the idea that exposure to these kinds of bacteria

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helped to train the defenses of the body to learn how to recognize good from bad bacteria and thus train the immune system not to overreact when exposed to these bacteria,” Martinez explained. Armed with years of data and a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Martinez is now engaged in a 10-year clinical trial that seeks to understand how bacteria can be used to prevent asthma and to stave off asthma attacks in those who have it. Babies 6-18 months are given powdered bacteria for two years and are then followed for five to six years. “If we are successful, we hope to develop a new product that will help in the prevention of asthma,” he added. Immunobiology and the Brain Dr. Anita Koshy BIO5 researcher, Dr. Anita Koshy, is an associate professor of neurology. Her work focuses on the molecular mechanisms that allow a common intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii (toxo), to persist in and potentially change the human brain. “Toxo affects 10-30% of people in the United States,” Koshy said. “The ability to persist like that in the brain is very unusual. If we can use the parasite to understand the brain’s immune response to toxo, we can learn some fundamental things about inflammation in the brain.” Her research will provide new insights into how to manipulate the brain immune response which has been implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases. The long term goal of her lab’s work is to develop treatments or therapies for toxo and other disorders, from multiple sclerosis to Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, Koshy said.

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PHOTOS COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA BIO5 INSTITUTE

Monica Schmidt


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BIO5 Research Impact Lucrative Return on Investment By Mary Minor Davis A mission of BIO5 is to ensure that research conducted at the University of Arizona benefits the health and wellbeing of Arizonans and those around the world. The key to achieve this is in translating scientific discoveries through the commercialization of research and development that takes a therapy or product public. BIO5’s overarching economic impact is also demonstrated in the return on investment from the Technology and Research Initiative Fund or TRIF, a voter approved 0.6% sales tax to ignite biomedical and bioscience research in the state that helped established the institute in 2001. Over the past 20 years, BIO5 has invested approximately $120 million of TRIF funds in research. It’s an investment that has resulted in over $1 billion in new funding and jobs to bolster Arizona’s economy and created start-ups and spin-outs in the biosciences industry. “That’s a remarkable record for an entity like BIO5,” said Betsy Cantwell, senior VP of research, innovation and impact for UArizona. Cantwell oversees the depth and breadth of the university’s entire research enterprise, as well as Tech Parks Arizona, Tech Launch Arizona, economic development, and student entrepreneurial institutes. As the commercialization partner to BIO5, Tech Launch Arizona facilitates the mechanism that moves research from the university to the marketplace and helps connect promising discoveries with industry. It also manages the licensing for research developed at UArizona. According to a study conducted by the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management, 109 startups were launched from UAri-

zona between 2016 and 2018, creating over 5,300 jobs with an economic impact of nearly $585 million. Janet Roveda, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a BIO5 member, has been working for the past five years with a multi-institution team on the development of carein-place technology and devices that will change the way people manage their health care. “Traditional healthcare centers around the hospital,” she said. “Carein-place centers around where people go when they need medical services,

Having the university at the highest levels indicate that they are open to collaboration facilitates partnerships and fuels economic development in Arizona.

Klearchos Papas BIO5 member Co-founder, Procyon Technologies –

how they are treated and how care is delivered.” Working with teams from the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology, Baylor University and the University of Missouri, with support from the National Science Foundation, research and development focuses on sensors that can detect biomarkers outside of the body, radio frequency communications to devices, artificial intelligence and the materials used in device development. Roveda and her team have also been working with private-industry partners who have signed on as members of the project, providing funding and other resources. In all, 21 companies have signed on at $50,000 per company, including Best Buy Healthcare, Boston Scientifics and Facebook. The team is now engaged with other companies including Fitbit for additional development funding. The team has developed several prototypes, including small, hand-held devices currently in Phase I trials, but they are looking at everything “from head to toe,” as well as non-wearable devices, Roveda said. These include headbands, necklaces, belts, leggings and socks, as well as in-home cameras. “There are wearable devices today that track heartrate, exercise and other measurements but the information isn’t tracking into the doctor’s office and thus isn’t part of the electronic health record,” Roveda said. Adding the data to the EHR will supplement healthcare management and supports trends in telehealth and other in-place healthcare practices evolving today. An example of this research to discovery to innovation ecosystem, BIO5 continued on page 86 >>>

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BizSCIENCE Betsy Cantwell

Janet Roveda

Klearchos Papas

Reglagene

member Klearchos Papas is the co-founder of start-up Procyon Technologies started in 2019. The company focuses on the development of oxygen enabled encapsulated cell therapy technology with a focus on providing a “functional cure” for people with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) without the need for drugs that suppress the immune system. In December, Procyon announced an exclusive research collaboration and license agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S to develop a cell encapsulation device system to be used in Novo’s development of a novel therapy for T1D. Papas is a professor in the Department of Surgery, as well as the director of the Institute for Cellular Transplantation in the College of Medicine – Tucson. “BIO5, and in particular Jennifer Barton, has been instrumental in providing key core resources needed to initiate and conduct the research and in facilitating our competitiveness in winning major grants to fund proof-of-concept experiments and data,” Papas said. “Universities have not typically been outward-facing to industry. Having the university at the highest levels indicate that they are open to collaboration facilitates partnerships and fuels economic development in Arizona.” Papas also said that for the research to go from its current stage to final product with regulatory approval typically would take up to $1 billion, funds that couldn’t be obtained through grants alone. Because of the pro-industry relationship, “Novo has made the commitment to fund and accelerate what needs to be done at this point to get to the proof-ofconcept studies in patients.” “Arizona will benefit economically from the clinical trials and work to be done here, as well as the successful commercialization of this technology,” he added. “The fact that it was developed at UArizona will put the state on the international map as a hub for biomedical innovation.” The cell encapsulation technology has the potential to treat other serious medical conditions including cancer and is a model for other industry partnerships. “It sets the stage further success,” Papas said. Another start-up, Reglagene, was launched in 2018 by Richard Austin, now the CEO, BIO5 member, Laurence Hurley who is the CSO, and BIO5 associate professor, Vijay Gokhale, one of the co-inventors. The company is currently developing low-cost and non-invasive therapeutic treatments for prostate and brain cancer that target cancer cells while leaving surrounding healthy cells intact, according to the company’s website. The programs are in the preclinical stage, explained Austin. Reglagene is producing epigenetic medicines and testing these for efficacy and safety in human disease models. Epigenetic medicines are designed to help existing cancer treatments work better and longer. “What we’re excited about is that we are applying precision medicine to target cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells alone,” Austin said. “Understanding the genetic basis of disease opens up the ability to address other cancers that share genetic commonalities.” Both cancer projects at Reglagene are supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and are being done in partnership with cancer experts at the UArizona Cancer Center and the Translational Genomics Research Institute also known as TGen. “For more than two decades, BIO5 has brought together some of the most talented researchers in Arizona and the U.S. to accelerate innovation and foster entrepreneurship in order to find solutions to our most vexing problems,” said Dr. Guy Reed, dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix.

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Kate Riley

Director of Finance, Operations & Research Administration <<<

Director BIO5

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Lisa Romero

Executive Director of Public Affairs, Communications & Engagement


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BIO5 Empowers Women Leaders Diversity and Inclusion Frame the Culture

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

By Romi Carrell Wittman BIO5 is marking its 20th anniversary as a model for scientific research, discoveries and advances. What it’s less likely known for is its strategic advancement of women in the sciences. BIO5’s three-person senior leadership team is all female. Jennifer Kehlet Barton, Lisa Romero and Kate Riley make every strategic decision facing the organization, coalescing different backgrounds, expertise and perspectives to together develop the best outcome possible. Additionally, women are strongly represented among BIO5 member faculty, researchers and staff. This representation is remarkable given that, according to the National Science Foundation, women make up just 28% of the workforce in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math. Betsy Cantwell, senior VP for research, innovation and impact at the University of Arizona, said this diversity sets the stage for the next generation of scientists and

leaders. “We model strong women leadership – especially an allwoman leadership team – so the next generation can see themselves clearly as future leaders,” she said. “Additionally, women are strongly represented among BIO5 faculty, lab staff, institute staff and trainees. BIO5 was built on the very concept and culture of diversity and inclusion.” In her experience, Cantwell said, female researchers gravitate toward the more multidisciplinary challenges. “When women get to the peak of their research capacity, they generally tend to look at the challenge and say, ‘Let’s bring people together from different fields to come up with a more holistic solution.’ ” Jennifer Barton Director Barton took the reins of BIO5 in 2017 after serving in a variety of faculty and administrative leadership positions across the university since she arrived at UArizona in 1998. A biomedical

engineer, she has since overseen the growth and reach of BIO5’s interdisciplinary research portfolio in the fields of precision medicine, infectious diseases, technology for health and resilient aging, among many others. Barton believes the people of BIO5 are what make the organization truly special. “BIO5 is a combination of industry and academia,” she said. “We have the most amazing staff and researchers who truly care about the mission to improve the health and well-being of humankind. It’s not just a job. They really love and believe in what they’re doing.” Lisa Romero Executive Director Public Affairs Communications and Engagement Romero has been at BIO5 since 2012, bringing with her not only a strong business background but an ability to cultivate connections and relationships continued on page 90 >>>

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BizSCIENCE continued from page 89 across campus and in the community as a native Tucsonan. A strategic marketing executive with 30 years of experience, Romero serves BIO5 in a number of capacities, including communications, education outreach and community relations. Her team manages the very popular KEYS Research Internship program for Arizona high schoolers, Science City at the Tucson Festival of Books with the UArizona College of Science, the Discover BIO5 Event Series, and the BIO5 Student Industry Networking Event with BIOSA, a local bioindustry association. When asked why BIO5 is important to her and the larger university and scientific communities, Romero doesn’t hesitate to answer. “BIO5 is all about solving problems by working together, knowing that approach is where the real power to create change lies,” she said. “Today, the word ‘interdisciplinary’ is used to describe many institutions, but 20 years ago it was novel. We have the

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Kate Riley Director Finance, Operations & Research Administration Riley has been at UArizona for the past 24 years, making connections and building expertise she regularly draws on to manage BIO5’s business office and facilities. Riley joined BIO5 in 2006 at the behest of then-BIO5 director Vicki Chandler. “Those early years with a dynamic female leader were exciting, and there were so many things we wanted to do, but we didn’t even have a building until 2007,” Riley said. “I have likened those early years to being part of a startup. Many things we wanted to do didn’t

have precedent, so we were figuring out new ways to make things happen and learning as we went.” Reflecting on BIO5’s upcoming anniversary, Riley said things have changed quite a lot since the early days, but the organization’s core principles – as well as its commitment to diversity and inclusion – are the same. “We are much larger, but the guiding light of innovation still informs our daily purpose,” Riley said. “I have seen many changes, but strong, dynamic leadership has been a constant, and the number of women in leadership positions has been extraordinary. We cannot overemphasize the importance of representation in the sciences across disciplines. We hear that from students, as well as junior faculty. “Ours is a team that doesn’t let ego impede progress,” Riley said.

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physical and philosophical infrastructure to get people in the same room to explore and compare ideas, all while bringing the next generation of scientists alongside them to learn in the pursuit.”

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KEYS to the Future

Acclaimed Training Programs Offer Students STEM Opportunities By Mary Minor Davis

Training a workforce of future researchers and scientists is as critical to the BIO5 Institute as the overall mission to create meaningful discoveries related to the many grand biological challenges it’s already tackling. BIO5 offers students work experiences that complement their academic curricula through internships and paid jobs, as well as post-graduate assistantships. “Our goal is to be a partner in helping students starting in high school all the way through their college education to be fully prepared for successful careers,” said Lisa Romero, BIO5’s executive director for public affairs, communications and engagement. BIO5 also hosts annual networking events for both undergraduate and graduate students, inviting researchers and industry leaders to talk with and share advice with students to promote career readiness. “This is not a job fair, although some students do find internships and jobs from these opportunities. Our approach is more about creating meaningful connections and support while increasing the talent-pool and diversity of students pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees and careers,” Romero said. “BIO5 plays an important role in accelerating the commercialization of new technologies, diagnostics and treatments, and in developing our next generation of scientists and tech workforce,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development engine. “Site selectors and biotech companies looking to expand recognize the value of this important UArizona asset in our region.” Additionally, BIO5 leads the annual KEYS Research Internship, one of the state’s premier summer training

programs for Arizona high school students interested in developing STEM skills. Interns gain experience with real-world application by completing research projects guided by scientists in UArizona labs. Since the KEYS program launched in 2007, 576 students have completed it. “KEYS exposed me to a network of mentors and educators who strongly influenced the direction of my education, career and life,” said Brooke Moreno, a UArizona graduate who now works as a KEYS outreach program coordinator. Moreno participated in KEYS in 2009, the summer before she attended her freshman year. As a first-generation college student from Marana, she said she knew she wanted to study science but was “clueless” about where to start. “First-generation college students struggle to find community and belonging on campus, and this acts as a consistent barrier to higher education,” Moreno said. “KEYS gave me this network before I ever set foot in a college classroom.” Now working for KEYS, Moreno sees a chance to pay her experience forward. “KEYS showed me that there was a place for me at the University of Arizona and that I could be a strong firstgeneration scientist and educator,” she said. “I am forever grateful for the mentorship and learning opportunities provided for me by KEYS and BIO5. I take great pride in providing young scientists the same – and more – opportunities that were offered to me so many years ago.” Sarah Brown Smallhouse, president of the Thomas R. Brown Foundations, said the foundation originally funded scholarships for students to attend the summer program, and now endows KEYS.

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“Over the years, we really began to appreciate the caliber of students that took an interest in and completed the program,” she said. “We were also impressed by the faculty and staff’s commitment level and the teamwork that emerged to support these students.” “We need to begin to get young people involved in STEM well before they get to the university level, and our K-12 school system is not able to give enough students a window into the real world of translational outcomes,” said Betsy Cantwell, UArizona’s senior VP of research, innovation and impact. “We have a number of partnerships with the private sector that not only support KEYS, but also offer our undergraduate and graduate students real-world experience that is so important.” Cantwell added that nearly 65% of KEYS alumni have chosen to attend an Arizona college or university. “We want that outcome as well, but we’re primarily committed to expanding opportunities to be able to experience STEM internships.” Since BIO5’s inception 20 years ago, more than 15,000 students have benefitted from one or more of these careerbuilding opportunities, Romero said. “For the past 20 years, BIO5 has displayed an outstanding record of achievement in advancing interdisciplinary life science research,” said Rick Schnellmann, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The institute has been a significant partner to the College of Pharmacy by facilitating collaborative opportunities that help close longstanding gaps in research and enriching the minds of future healthcare leaders through programs such as KEYS.”

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Jennifer Barton

Engineering Research Outcomes Through Collaboration By Romi Carrell Wittman BIO5 Director Jennifer Barton is a unique force in the halls of academia. Her background spans both the private and public sectors, from the practical to the theoretical, from electrical engineering to optical sciences to biomedical engineering. Barton brings each of these skills to bear as she leads BIO5’s charge to develop creative, bold solutions to humanity’s most pressing health and environmental challenges. This varied expertise – Barton’s approach to her own career – pairs perfectly with BIO5’s interdisciplinary DNA, which has become an international model for translating scientific discoveries and technology advancement into innovative solutions and commercial opportunities. “I started off as an electrical engineer,” she said. “Everyone in my family is an engineer. My parents believed that you should get the kind of degree that would translate into a good job.” Barton worked at former aerospace company McDonnell Douglas, specifically on a space station project. However, over time she discovered that her interest lay in the biomedical field. When she made plans in 1994 to return to school to earn her doctorate, she enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin’s biomedical engineering Ph.D. program. After graduation, she explored her options. “I was an older Ph.D. student,” she said. “I figured I’d go back into industry because I didn’t want to do a postdoc.” A postdoc is a temporary position that allows a Ph.D. student to continue their training as a researcher and gain the skills necessary for an academic career. Instead, she was drawn to the University of Arizona’s biomedical engineering program and took a faculty position <<<

other,” she said. Throughout her career and especially at BIO5, Barton has built a reputation for bringing people together, leading and mentoring them, and melding seemingly disparate research areas into collaborative endeavors. As an example, by connecting plant scientists and cancer biologists they might find that they have been studying the same gene. By sharing information and unique expertise they can advance both their research programs. UArizona President Dr. Robert Robbins said of Barton, “Her success as a biomedical engineer and her commitment to community impact, mentorship and teaching make her an ideal leader for this important institute.” Barton said serving as BIO5 director means acting as a connector not only between academic disciplines, but also with the business and commercial communities. “Research to innovation is a long process,” she said. “We must rely on partnerships and relationships to succeed.” She said the most satisfying part of her role as BIO5 director is to be able to offer the support to keep scientists focused on outcomes. “I help keep ideas and connections moving forward with the collective goal of advancing health.” Asked to sum up her role at BIO5, Barton said: “BIO5 is a combination of academia and industry. We’re better at collaboration and translation than most universities and we’re always getting better.” She added that BIO5 will always be part of her career. “I will definitely be a member of BIO5 for my faculty career. Its mission and structure are critical for my research.”

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in 1998. “The program really blew me away,” she said. “I realized that it would be a very different type of job, and they appreciated my industry experience.” She said UArizona faculty and staff offered much needed support and mentorship in those early days. “I was fortunate that so many people invested time to help me learn this whole new world of academia.” In addition to her work at BIO5, Barton is the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Professor in biomedical engineering, as well as a professor of electrical, computer and biosystems engineering, optical sciences and medical imaging. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and continues her work to engineer tools that will help detect cancer earlier and more efficiently. She and her team have developed miniature endoscopes precisely for this purpose and are exploring the suitability and efficacy of such tools in real-world application. She joined BIO5 as assistant director in 2009, and in 2015 when then-BIO5 director Dr. Fernando Martinez moved to another leadership position as director of UArizona’s Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center, she took over as interim BIO5 director. A national search for a permanent director followed. Barton threw her hat in the ring and successfully secured the top spot in 2017. Barton is committed to BIO5’s mission of furthering interdisciplinary research excellence and serving Arizona and the community. She has a passion for training the next generation STEM workforce. “When it comes to scientific advancement, I’d love to see a future where research and education all across campus is just like it is at BIO5, with disciplines working alongside each

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“I help keep ideas and connections moving forward with the collective goal of advancing health.“

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

– Jennifer Barton, Director BIO5 Institute

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Thomas W. Keating Building the Foundation for BIO5

If you happen to stroll across the University of Arizona and venture just north of Speedway Boulevard, you’ll encounter an imposing and elegant red brick building with walls of windows and a large white metal shade sail of sorts. Within walking distance of Banner University Medical Center and part of the health sciences campus, the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building has four floors and 177,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research laboratories, core facilities and collaborative meeting spaces. With the support of cuttingedge equipment and flexible design, scientists are able to tackle virtually any type of challenging research project. Completed in 2006, the Keating Building, as it’s often called, is the home of the BIO5 Institute, an organization with a three-fold mission of excellence in basic and translational research, interdisciplinary collaboration and commercialization, and education outreach and training. BIO5 and the Keating Building are jewels in the UArizona research crown, but neither might have become reality

had it not been for the vision and dedication of the man for whom the building is named: Thomas W. Keating. Keating has long been involved with UArizona – as a student to volunteer to donor back to student again. As a young man, Keating spent six months active duty in the National Guard after high school graduation. After returning from Fort Bliss, Tex., he attended Menlo College in Atherton, Calif. “I was thinking I might be Stanford material,” he said with a chuckle. “I was not.” After his self-described poor performance at Menlo College, Keating thought a different school might be the answer. He enrolled at UArizona. “It was a disaster,” he admitted. “I left in 1962 to go work at my family’s company.” Keating would go on to build a highly successful 38-year career at that company, American Protective Services, started on break-bulk (non-containerized) cargo ships in port. Its non-maritime business eventually grew to 19,000 employees in 35 states and was sold in 2000 to Securitas of Sweden, the

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world’s largest security provider. Knowing Keating was not a man to retire, friend and UArizona grad Matt Noble reached out to Keating to encourage him to get involved with the Kappa Sigma fraternity, Keating jumped at the opportunity. He attended his first homecoming in 1987, and Keating and his wife, Irene – or “Reenie” – haven’t missed one since. Keating soon began volunteering for UArizona in a number of capacities. Since then, Keating’s involvement with UArizona has been seemingly limitless. He chaired the BIO5 Business Advisory Board as well as the Alumni Association board of directors. He has served on the UA Foundation board of trustees for the past 20 years and was the chair, and continues to devote his time and resources to the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Honors, as well as the BIO5 Institute, the KEYS Research Internship, athletics, campus life, dance, Alumni Plaza and Women’s Plaza. In 1996, after living part-time in continued on page 98 >>> Fall 2021

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BizSCIENCE continued from page 97 Tucson, Keating and his wife decided to purchase a second home here. They decided to take the plunge after Keating sat down and calculated just how much time they were spending in Tucson versus Alameda, Calif., their primary home. “I made three columns,” he said. “One for nights slept in Alameda, Tucson, or someplace else. I charted the whole year and discovered we’d spent more time in Tucson than anywhere else.” Once here, Keating decided to enroll at UArizona to complete his degree. “My kids have their degrees and I had my 35 units,” he explained. “I wanted to graduate before I was 80.” He did. In 2000, at the age of 58, he walked across the stage to accept his diploma for a Bachelor of Science in agriculture. “It was a great period of time in my life, and I really, really value that,” he said. “College-level kids are a joy to be around. They’re very open and accepting and they made my life a joy coming back to school. That’s one of the primary reasons for us staying. If you volunteer for UArizona, you always want

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anonymously to Dean Sander for a similar purpose, and offered to match that amount with a pledge for the balance.” Following many conversations amongst UArizona leadership and Keating, the Keatings’ original donation was used for construction of the unique building that now bears his name. “It was an extraordinary experience,” Keating said. The Keatings are both still active in the UArizona community, so much so they had to scale back a bit. “We had great basketball tickets for 21 years, but we gave them up because we could never do anything else for the first quarter of each year but basketball,” he laughed. Likins said Keating’s contributions to UArizona and, more specifically BIO5, are immeasurable. “Interdisciplinary research was in the air. The climate was right to create BIO5, and that’s important because not every university has that,” Likins said. “It was deep in the bones of the institution, but we needed leadership and Tom Keating provided that. He helped us get across the finish line.”

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the job where you have face time with the students.” As an older student, Keating was more aware of the things he needed to do to be successful. “I learned very quickly that sitting in the front of class is a mistake because you can’t constantly turn around to see who is answering,” he said. “Sit in the fifth row. That helps you find the smart kids so you can study with them.” During his time as a student the second time around, Keating became close with Eugene Sander, then dean of the College of Agriculture. Keating believed in Sander’s vision so much that he made an anonymous gift to the college for the purpose of building a new research lab with more space. Later, Keating encountered Peter Likins, then UArizona’s president, at an Alumni Association meeting. “In this particular meeting, (Likins) talked about his vision for collaborative research and the need for a new building for that,” Keating said. Likins told the group the sum he was trying to raise. “I later went to him and told him I had good news.” Keating said. “I had already given half his goal

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BizPEOPLE Clint Mabie

Northern Trust Wealth Management has announced that Clint Mabie joined the Tucson team as a senior relationship manager. He will help new and existing clients using his extensive background in philanthropy and in the Tucson market. Retired as president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Mabie was instrumental in advising donors on philanthropic issues and doubled the foundation’s assets during his tenure.

Laura Young

Laura Young joins Great Western Bank as branch manager of Great Western Bank’s Tucson retail location. Young’s experience spans 17 years within Southern Arizona’s retail and commercial financial industry.  She enjoys volunteering with non-profit organizations that focus on providing financial literacy materials to Tucson’s youth.  Great Western Bank specializes in commercial lines, commercial real estate and agricultural lending since 1935. 

El Ndoye CorporateCARE Solutions has welcomed El Ndoye as the director of business development. Ndoye will be responsible for developing and growing current client relationships, identifying prospective clients, and contributing to CCS’ overall growth. Ndoye has more than 20 years of banking experience in the Tucson area and is a University of Arizona alumnus. www.BizTucson.com

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Clockwise from top – Mister Car Wash team in New York City; Mister Car Wash team at the New York Stock Exchange; John Lai, Mister Car Wash CEO

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BizINVESTING

Mister Car Wash Goes to Wall Street Tucson Company Now on the NYSE

PHOTOS COURTESY MISTER CAR WASH

By June Hussey When Mister Car Wash CEO John Lai rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on June 25, it validated the hard work the company put in to be worthy of being publicly traded on the Exchange, he said. “It’s been a little over six weeks since we rang the bell, and we’re still feeling the glow and positive emotions over the significance of going public,” said Lai during the company’s first earnings call in August. “Morale within our organization and the industry from coast to coast has never been stronger.” Lai is a 1987 graduate of the University of Arizona and has served as CEO of Mister Car Wash since 2013, taking the company through the initial public offering process that culminated in being publicly traded beginning June 25. On that day, trading on the NYSE opened under the ticker symbol MCW for the first time at $18.90 per share, hitting a high of $22 and closing at $20.30 per share with a trading volume of 17.71 million shares. “It was an extremely validating feeling and a testament to our amazing team and all the hard work that led up to this historic event,” Lai said during that initial call. “We came into the IPO as a passionate and mission-driven bunch, but coming out of it, there’s a new sense of purpose.” The IPO also validated the company to its employees, Lai said. When Mister Car Wash launched an employee stock purchase plan during the IPO to give team members an opportunity to buy stock, to Lai’s delight, more than 30% of employees participated. “That’s almost 2,000 people who www.BizTucson.com

voluntarily invested back into the company they work for. Given the size of our organization, when you have that many people that deeply believe in the company, it becomes as powerful for us to get stronger and stronger,” Lai said during the call. Naturally at Home in Tucson

With headquarters in two separate buildings downtown, Lai considers Tucson a great home for Mister Car Wash. “The grit and tenacity of Tucson is a nice parallel to our company and approach. We’ve also been a company that has acquired over 100 businesses, which brings a lot of transplants and new ideas into the business,” Lai said.

Building a Brand

Car Wash Partners first set out to grow Mister Car Wash into a national brand in 1996. The partnership wanted to not only seize the opportunity to roll up a fragmented industry through acquisition and rebranding, but also to grow market share by consistently and continually redefining the car wash experience. Growing market share began with the basic building blocks of consistently delivering great service with a friendly smile, speed and convenience. Mister Car Wash next pioneered the concept of subscription memberships within the car wash industry, launching its Unlimited Wash Club in 2003. By 2012, Mister Car Wash had taken the lead as America’s largest car wash chain and Mister Car Wash now has more than 1.5 million Unlimited Wash Club members. Mister Car Wash re-

cently made car washing more accessible to consumers by strategically committing to Express Exterior store formats. The more recent addition of contactless service also bolstered consumer confidence during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are fortunate to have benefitted from some macro tailwinds, but what has set us apart is our relentless focus on operational excellence, building a culture of caring for our people that translates to the hospitality they deliver to our members and customers, and never settling, constantly pushing the envelope to get a cleaner, drier, shinier car,” Lai said. The Road to Wall Street

The journey to Wall Street has not been without its challenges. “In an industry that is so highly fragmented, we’ve had to be disciplined on acquisitions and also strategic in adding the new build development arm,” Lai said. “We could easily be distracted to just buy or build stores to grow a store count number, but that comes at the expense of your customer experience and maintaining culture.” Like its proprietary formulas at work in the wash tunnel, Mister Car Wash’s formula for business growth has been an obvious success. Today, Mister Car Wash operates more than 350 locations in 21 states. And with so many of its 6,000-plus team members investing financially as well as physically in the company’s continued growth and profitability, Lai expects the next 25 years to be just as exciting.

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BizWORKFORCE

Amber Smith

Ian Roark

Cristie Street

Michael Guymon

Blueprint for Prosperity Tucson Metro Chamber Issues Plan to Develop Workforce, Fight Poverty By Loni Nannini An effort to provide the talented workforce that local employers need while lifting people out of poverty has led to a template for Tucson’s prosperity. The Tucson Metro Chamber created the Workforce Development Blueprint in conjunction with private and public partners, nonprofit organizations and government. The blueprint’s five strategies highlight short- and long-term initiatives in education, industry and community leadership for employers and employees, according to Amber Smith, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber. “Our goals with these Workforce Development Strategies are: one, to grow the talent employers seek to enable them to fill positions for companies in the community now and in the future, and two, to provide a stronger skill set for those lacking skills who are living in poverty – ultimately resulting in a healthier community,” said Smith. The plan, which relies on data collected over the last 18 months by the Partnership for Workforce Innovation, was developed with support from Chamber membership, along with partners and sponsors including Tucson Medical Center, Pima Association of Governments, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, City of Tucson and Pima County. The effort marks collaboration by 104 BizTucson

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numerous local and regional businesses, educational institutions and community leaders to ensure that Tucson remains competitive in the rapidly changing labor market. “The topic of workforce development is very complex,” said Ian Roark, Pima Community College’s VP of workforce development and strategic partnerships. “It is an ecosystem of ecosystems, and the Tucson Metro Chamber plays an important role of being a convener and

The more we can do as a community to make sure we are growing and attracting the skills our community needs, the more we will succeed.

– Michael Guymon VP Tucson Metro Chamber

aggregator of industry for businesses of all sizes in our region. This blueprint allows us to focus on key workforce development initiatives – many of which are underway and some of which are new

– as we enter into a time of re-skilling and recovery post-pandemic.” Roark emphasized the need for innovation as the Chamber seeks to execute the plan during the next three to five years. “Oftentimes the programs and solutions implemented in the past to address workforce development aren’t the ones that will work now,” he said. “We are seeing that play out in the paradox of the vast number of jobs posted and the vast numbers of people who are not employed and the difficulty in connecting the right people to the right jobs.” Strategy 1

Employers, educators and business organizations in the greater Tucson region should consistently support innovative education/industry partnerships, including a system of high-quality career and technical education aligned to the needs of the business community. The skills developed through universities, community colleges and training providers should match the skills needed by our companies. The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Pima Community College and Carrington College, along with small colleges, trade schools and education partners play key roles here. They answer the call for innovative and flexible training programs that include information technology and continued on page 106 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizWORKFORCE continued from page 104 cybersecurity, applied technologies in automotive and aviation, health and veterinary care, and criminal justice and public safety. Programs also address advanced manufacturing skills – which include computer-aided design, machining and welding. “PCC and other institutions have the responsibility to meet the workforce development needs of the community at scale,” Roark said. “The PCC Centers of Excellence at campuses throughout the city are that type of scale. These certificate-level and associate degree programs are aligned to standards of business and industry at all sectors – and in this environment, we have to deliver these programs in new and different ways to meet post-pandemic challenges.” He emphasized that PCC is developing more apprenticeships, work-based learning, micro-pathways and customized training programs for employers; these flexible re-skilling and up-skilling opportunities are tailored to meet the needs of employees and students alike. “At PCC we call them ‘new majority learners.’ These are people who don’t have the time or resources to be fulltime students and want to advance in their careers while they are working,” said Roark.

into the region, which is key to building prosperity. “We have so many unique resources and differentiators here – from an amazing education ecosystem and a growing population of indigenous and native language speakers to first-generation graduates from secondary education who want to stay close to home to establish their careers,” she said. “That willingness to stay in Arizona predated COVID, and now all the open space makes us even more attractive. There is also demonstrable proof that technical careers help folks build wealth – and keeping that wealth here means progress for the entire community.”

There is demonstrable proof that technical careers help folks build wealth – and keeping that wealth here means progress for the entire community. – Cristie Street Founder & CEO Nextrio

Strategy 2

A collaborative of regional employers and stakeholders should fund and launch the Tucson Move IT Up initiative. IT and cybersecurity skills are needed at hospitals just as much as they are needed in aerospace and defense, stressing the need for our region to make an accelerated push toward developing these important skills. “Every career in modern business has some interaction with IT, so we all need to be stakeholders in promotion of technology literacy,” said Cristie Street, founder and CEO of Nextrio. The provider of IT services is a Chamber member and supported the blueprint. Street said a shortage of skilled labor over the past 10 years forced employers to adopt increased automation to supplement the workforce. That, in turn, increased the need for highly skilled employees. She views the blueprint strategies as a combination of elbow grease and execution – a way to develop the pipeline that will funnel highly skilled employees 106 BizTucson

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Strategy 3

The Tucson Metro Chamber, in conjunction with the City of Tucson and Pima County, should establish the Tucson Employer Development program – an education and outreach program that provides resources, training and certification to the region’s employers. We plan to award those companies who have implemented internships, tuition reimbursement and other programs that provide work-based learning opportunities. “We need to identify companies that have the best practices with work-based learning programs and offer recommendations so others can follow suit,” said Michael Guymon, Chamber VP. Strategy 4

The greater Tucson region should make efforts to effectively highlight career opportunities in the region to attract high-level talent in critical in-

dustries. Our partnerships with Tucson Young Professionals, Sun Corridor Inc., Visit Tucson and StartUp Tucson will be further developed to create and manage talent attraction campaigns. Guymon stressed the need for Tucson to aggressively attract talent. “Decisions about whether companies are looking to expand or relocate – and whether companies that have been here for 100 years will continue to thrive – hinge on their ability to hire skilled individuals. The more we can do as a community to make sure we are growing and attracting the skills our community needs, the more we will succeed. This is an extremely important issue to the economic vitality of Tucson.” Strategy 5

The Greater Tucson Career Literacy Initiative should organize business and community leaders to bring information, connections and exposure related to high-quality careers into Pima County’s classrooms. The Center for the Future of Arizona has created career pathways in a number of industries and students will benefit greatly by having a better understanding of what the pathway looks like for their desired careers. “There are lots of career options out there, and working with educational partners at every level and nonprofit partners such as Center for the Future of Arizona and CommunityShare are examples of the collaborations we need to really move the needle,” said Guymon. Plans for the blueprint include regular review to stay on track toward hitting goals, said Smith from the Chamber. The Chamber is developing metrics that will be reviewed bi-annually by a Professional Pursuits Steering Committee comprised of a cross-section of stakeholders. The committee will track progress and revisit strategies in the ever-evolving environment. “There are efforts in our community that fall under each of these five strategies,” Smith said. “We want to highlight those that have a current impact and grow their exposure while implementing new ideas. Together with our stakeholders, we are dedicated to making short-term improvements that deliver progress while keeping an eye on sustainable long-term changes that will have lasting effects for our region.”

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BizCONSTRUCTION

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M A R K E T

Project: The Baffert at 5 Points Location: 747 S. Sixth Ave. Owner: KBL 747 Contractor: Kappcon General Contracting Architect: David E. Shambach & Associates Completion Date: Spring 2022 Construction Cost: $6.8 million Project Description: This new three-story mixed-use building includes 5,400 square feet of street level retail space and 14 residential apartment units with underground parking.

Project: Tucson Tamale Production Facility Location: 102 W. 29th St. Owner: Diamond Ventures Contractor: Chestnut Construction Architect: VVC Designs Completion Date: July 2021 Construction Cost: $900,000 Project Description: Tucson Tamale is leasing 14,000 square feet of production space from Diamond Ventures. The facility is in South Tucson in the former Malone Meat building.

Project: Reid Park Zoo New Flamingo Habitat Location: 3400 E. Zoo Court Owner: City of Tucson Contractor: Lloyd Construction Company Architect: Torre Design Consortium and Swaim Associates Completion Date: February 2021 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: The new flamingo habitat features a 50% increase in space with misters, a separate feeding pool and a night house.

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N E W

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M A R K E T

Project: Campbell Landing Location: 2180-2236 E. Ginter Rd. and 2655-2701 E. Wieding Rd. Owner: Campbell Landing/Keith Campbell and Carl Campbell, Managers Contractor: N/A Architect: Rick Huch, Seaver Franks Architects Completion Date: March 2022 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: Four 10,000-square-foot pre-engineered buildings will each have 24-foot-high eves, grade doors and 120/208v three-phase power.

Project: Tucson Airport Center 2, Bldg. A Location: 6818 S. Country Club Owner: Harsch Investment Properties Contractor: Chasse Building Team Architect: VLMK Engineering + Design Completion Date: First quarter 2022 Construction Cost: N/A Project Description: TAC is a 229,320-square-foot building available for warehouse, manufacturing or distribution use and can be leased by a single or multiple tenants.

Project: Valencia Tech Park Location: 2850-3220 E. Valencia Owner: Larsen Baker via Valencia Tech Park Contractor: Epstein Construction Architect: EXA Architects, Jose Ceja Completion Date: Fourth quarter 2021 Construction Cost: $6.8 million total, including acquisition Project Description: Existing buildings that are predominantly made up of office space will be converted to flex office/industrial showroom uses with retail storefronts.

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BizPEOPLE Amanda Wiggins

Amanda Wiggins has been named the new president and CEO of the Marana Chamber of Commerce. She will lead the Chamber and its mission as the voice of business working to build economic growth and quality of life in the Marana community. Wiggins relocated to Marana last year from Tallahassee, Fla. where she held various roles within the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

Kevin Perkins

Critical Path Institute has announced that Kevin Perkins is its new CFO. Perkins comes to C-Path after serving as associate VP of finance and global operations for the University of Arizona, where he managed a multimillion dollar-budget with additional responsibilities of top-line annual revenue marked to flow through the university. Prior to that, he served as director of finance for the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.

Carol Stewart

Carol Stewart, associate VP of  Tech Parks Arizona for the University of Arizona, has been appointed  the new  International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation North America Division president on the International Board of Directors.  IASP is a worldwide innovation ecosystem that includes over 350 member organizations from 76 countries. Stewart was unanimously approved by the IASP members. 114 BizTucson

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BizTOOLKIT

Neglected Cyber Hygiene Endangers Businesses By Jennifer Chenault Cyberattacks have been leading the news cycles this year after recent hacks on oil pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline and meat processor JBS shut the companies down. Cybercriminals have also devastated small businesses around the country. In the United States, the average cost of a data breach was $8.64 million, according to a study by IBM and Ponemon Institute. Businesses that offer cyber insurance know the cost will rise in the coming years as ransomware attacks become more widespread, so many are tightening coverage limits and even placing sub-limits in their ransomware coverage. Business owners should accept the reality that attacks can come at any time, and good cyber hygiene could be the difference between a regular day at work or a lockout with a multimilliondollar ransom. Employee Awareness Training

In our modern economy, most employees are connected to the inter-

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net through their digital devices. One computer-savvy employee isn’t enough to protect a business from a cyberattack, and employees are the front line between a business and a ransomware attack. Broad company-wide trainings can ensure that good cyber hygiene is a daily concern. Penetration Testing

Sometimes the best way to evaluate a company’s defenses is to test them with a fake cyberattack. Companies exist today that have the technical knowledge to run a simulated cyberattack on a business’ computer systems to help the company evaluate its risks and security gaps. Security Controls

To stay ahead of an attacker, network security controls can help surveil and reinforce a company’s online defenses. Businesses should invest in endpoint detection and response solutions (known as EFR) that monitor the devices that connect to a company’s network. Tested

backups and multifactor authentication (MFA) login methods require users to clear two levels of logins using additional credentials — beyond their usernames and passwords — to make breaking into a network difficult. Cyber Incident Response Plan

Creating a cyber incident response plan (also known as an IR plan) is essential to create a well-rounded defense against hackers. These IR plans are essentially instructions that explain how a company should prepare for, detect, respond to and recover from cyberattacks. With our local expertise and global reach, the team at Lovitt & Touché can lead your company through proper cyber hygiene techniques while insuring your company’s assets. Jennifer Chenault is a VP with Lovitt & Touché, helping clients create insurance programs that address their unique needs. Reach her at jchenault@lovitt-touche.com. Biz

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BizAWARDS

2021 Common Ground Awards Metropolitan Pima Alliance Honors Collaborative Projects

The Metropolitan Pima Alliance celebrated its 16th annual Common Ground Awards this spring, recognizing community leaders, projects and events with successful collaboration for the overall benefit of the community. The MPA is an alliance of business, government and nonprofit organizations with a focus on creating sensible land use and development policies and practices by promoting respectful dialogue among diverse groups and interests. The Common Ground Awards, one of MPA’s signature events, have honored more than 350 projects since 2003. Award applicants engaged in a multistep process. Semifinalists were interviewed and scored based on the complexity of collaboration, uniqueness of collaboration, uniqueness of project or program, benefit to the community, impact on the development community and other criteria. “Collaboration is the cornerstone of Metropolitan Pima Alliance’s mission and the gold standard by which the Common Ground Award applicants are judged,” said Allyson Solomon, MPA’s executive director, in the award program. “Many of the projects that have been awarded over the last 15 years may not have been glamorous, but they are significant because they are reflective of hours worked, the unlikely partnerships The Flash

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formed, and the many obstacles and setbacks that needed to be overcome for Southern Arizona to succeed.” The 2021 awards, held May 14 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, honored the top 20 projects, 10 of which were winners and 10 were finalists. Here are the winners: Award of Distinction H.S. Lopez Family Foundation Center of Opportunity

The center opened two years ago at close to capacity of 300 beds. Since then, it has served over 460,000 nutritious meals and provided more than 170,000 nights of shelter for homeless men, women and children with its managing partner, Gospel Rescue Mission. It’s a place where Tucson’s least, last and lost come for hope and the chance for a new beginning. To date, the center has helped over 500 guests find jobs, over 240 guests get permanent housing, and over 120 guests find freedom from addiction. Award of Resilience Downtown Tucson Partnership’s Rapid Response to the Pandemic

DTP quickly responded to business and community needs during COVID-19. The innovative DTP Gift Card Incentive program infused $308,000 into downtown businesses in two months and was a model for other downtown organizations across the naThe Forge at Roy Place

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tion. A partnership with Pima County resulted in initiatives like the Outdoor Café and Downtown Rebound grant programs with a total of 72 grants and about $200,000 awarded to downtown businesses. Additional funds were made available to install 30 public hand sanitation stations, 12 touchless solarpowered trash compactors, eight water filling stations and 158 street trees tightwrapped in white lights. Common Ground Award Winners: The Flash

A unique mixed-use and adaptive reuse project on South Sixth Avenue, The Flash is half a block south of the “5 Points” intersection. The development of workforce housing is a very important and much needed initiative, especially as the price of downtown real estate continues to rise. This project allows for the ability to offer rents at below market rates for the area. The adaptive reuse plan will maintain the integrity and character of the building but add key alterations to enhance the livability and experience. The Forge at Roy Place

The University of Arizona’s FORGE at Roy Place Renovation Project is on the southeast corner of Stone and Pennington, in a building designed in 1928 by Tucson architect Roy Place. The project’s goals were to provide learnThe Houghton Reserve Project

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ing, collaboration, meeting and office spaces for FORGE programs, and innovation challenges and events; and to foster interaction between students, entrepreneurs, downtown employers and community mentors. The design process evolved as a dialogue between all stakeholders and, after much research and scrutiny of many design options, resulted in the “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” envisioned by FORGE. Historic Pima County Courthouse

The Historic Pima County Courthouse, designed and built in 1929 by Roy Place, is a significant symbol of the county, even appearing on its emblem. Pima County leadership recognized that the nearly 100-year-old historic structure needed refurbishment. During its rejuvenation, several new partnerships developed that opened up fresh possibilities for the adaptive reuse of the space. The multiphase project encompassed both a restoration and an adaptive reuse of portions of the project into museum, research, office and visitor center spaces. The Houghton Reserve Project

The Houghton Reserve Project, located in the northeastern quadrant of Houghton and Broadway, involved extensive negotiation with area neighborhoods to rezone a 99-acre parcel that is now surrounded by residential and commercial growth. Houghton Reserve is an infill, Flexible Lot Design subdivision that, even though it met all city planning and policy documents, required extensive outreach with residents to ensure compatible design/transitions and a successful rezoning. The January 8th Memorial

In response to the shooting of thenU.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others on Jan. 8, 2011, Tucson’s January 8th Foundation, a Historic Pima County Courthouse

nonprofit organization, formed to complete a permanent memorial to the tragedy that resulted in six deaths. The organization collaborated with public, private and nonprofit stakeholders, and project teams in all phases of the undertaking. The memorial, titled Embrace, overcame challenges in funding, location, historic and cultural resources preservation, the COVID-19 pandemic and more through collaboration with survivors, families, the community and public private partnerships.

ity is the first renewable natural gas production facility in Southern Arizona and partners with Southwest Gas for distribution of a sustainable fuel source. The new facility, which is reliable and low maintenance, will receive all the biogas currently routed to the plant’s flares and process it to remove moisture and impurities, then compress the cleaned biogas to the proper pressure. The pipeline will then deliver the cleaned biogas to the Southwest Gas Pipeline adjacent to the Tres Rios Water Reclamation Facility.

Pima County Development Services Fee Revisions

Tucson Convention Center

Pima County Development Services worked with stakeholders to devise a new methodology that would benefit both the fee-paying industry and cover costs of services. The county determined the appropriate fees based on the financial health of the department, and cost of providing services to customers, rather than automatic annual fee increases. The method allows for the sound management of the departments and helps facilitate economic development.

The Tucson Convention Center renovation is a multijurisdictional project with numerous designers, stakeholders, contractors and utilities, providing renovated interiors and exterior, a new meeting room expansion suite, two new parking garages, a new hotel, and restored historic landscape. Valued at $65 million, the TCC Capital Improvement Project will pay dividends to the city in upgraded functionality to the many members of the trade show, entertainment, and general Tucson communities that utilize the space.

Town of Marana Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2020-2030

Valencia Road Extension, Houghton Road to Old Spanish Trail

The Town of Marana Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2020-2030 was the result of a community-focused planning effort that sought to engage as many Marana residents as possible, understand their vision for the community’s parks, and chart a course for the development of a vibrant and diverse park system over the next decade. The plan includes a new community center, an aquatic facility, two new district parks, a community sports field complex and a new trail and linear park development. Tres Rios WRF Biogas Cleaning and Utilization Project

The Tres Rios Biogas Cleaning Facil-

Tucson Convention Center

The Valencia Road extension was the result of a public-private partnership between Rocking K Development, a subsidiary of Diamond Ventures, and Pima County. Psomas led the planning, design and construction management of the project, while KE&G Construction, Inc. was responsible for the construction of nearly three miles of new two-lane roadway, including a new bridge, a grade control structure and bank protection at the Pantano Wash. This new road also required extensive acquisition of private property and state land easements. The design and construction teams worked extensively with the Vail School District. Biz Valencia Road Extension

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BizTOOLKIT

Turn Languishing into Flourishing for You and Your Team By Cassie Ramirez Breneman HR Consultant, SHRM-GT Board Member and Treasurer A little over a year ago, organizational psychologist Adam Grant wrote an article in The New York Times putting a name to what so many of us were feeling, as weeks turned into months of living with COVID-19: Languishing. “Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness,” he said. “It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.” With all of the changes, uncertainty, decision-making, muddled guidance from government agencies and hard personnel decisions, how many of us felt exactly that in our professional lives in 2020? How many of us are still feeling that in 2021? Even if you aren’t, some of your employees might still be living in that space professionally. This year, turnover is high and talent is hard to find. Languishing – which can lead to disengagement, burnout, a lack of purpose and boredom – could be a large contributing factor. So, how does the business world start addressing this? Recently, Dani Blum wrote a follow-up article on turning languishing into flourishing, geared toward personal lives. Translating that concept for the professional sector, below are some ideas on how to get started. 1. Assess Yourself and Your Team How long has it been since you made space to check in with yourself about your own engagement and drive? How about with each individual member of your team? Unless you make time to have these honest conversations, you will not be able to accurately assess who might be languishing. 2. Practice Savoring and Gratitude During a year where so many leaders, company owners and HR professionals have had more hard moments than great ones, savoring the victories – no matter how small – will have a big impact. Recognize yourself and your team when something goes right. Make time for gratitude lists at meetings. Practice saying “thank you” more often than what 120 BizTucson

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feels comfortable. Noticing the good around you – and talking about it – will reconnect you and your team to what drives you. 3. Find Purpose in the Mundane This one can be tough, especially if your days are dominated by emails. Find the parts of your job that drive you and reconfigure your time to add a piece of that into each day. This might not change the volume of emails or other mundane work, but holding time for purpose-driven work can make a big difference. 4. Leverage Professional Communities Battling stagnation is hard to do on your own. Look for professional organizations that allow you to connect with other employees in your field. In Tucson, there are many professional groups which allow you and your employees to create connections. Encourage participation during work hours and see it as an investment. Creating relationships with people who inspire you in your specific field is invaluable.

As an HR professional, I found that my connections to other people – my team, my coworkers and my larger HR community – through SHRM-GT kept me flourishing this past year and drove me through moments of languishing. Asking yourself and your team to honestly assess can begin the process of reengaging and refocusing. Over time, this will lead to higher production, lower turnover and higher job satisfaction.

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SPECIAL REPORT 2021

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

EXECUTIVE LIVING: THE

VISIONARY DESIGNS OF

PHOTO BY WILLIAM LESCH

LORI CARROLL

20TH ANNIVERSARY


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Designs for Executive Living The Award-Winning Aesthetic of Lori Carroll

PHOTO BY WILLIAM LESCH

By Romi Carrell Wittman For more than three decades, Lori Carroll has transformed homes, businesses and outdoor spaces with her creative and chic residential and commercial designs. Her work can be seen in medical offices, restaurants, hotels and countless luxury homes across the region. Carroll and her team at Lori Carroll & Associates have built a solid reputation for desert sophistication and style while retaining the individuality of their clients. “I don’t have a huge calling for opulence here,” she said. “It’s more understated elegance – beautiful indoor and outdoor living.” From her Tucson headquarters, Carroll has also built a large client base across 126 BizTucson

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the United States, from California to New York for her world-class, award-winning designs. In fact, she’s won more than 100 local, national and international design awards, including the International Design of the Year for Powder Rooms, the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Pinnacle of Design, the NKBA Kitchen of the Year and NKBA Bathroom of the Year. In her new book, “Circle Square Balance Hue,” which highlights some of Carroll’s favorite projects through the years, she details her approach to design. “Spaces should capture the imagination while honoring the clients’ needs and lifestyle,” she wrote. continued on page 128 >>>


PHOTO COURTESY DSW COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

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Her straightforward yet innovative aesthetic, coupled with her boundless imagination and singular work ethic, is at the core of her design practice. “Every single project we create, I love that project at that time. We put our heart and soul into it,” she said. Here’s a look at many of her noteworthy designs over the years:

retreat from the world, a place to relax and tune out the stress and anxiety of daily life. For others, it’s an extension of the kitchen gathering space, available for both large and small gatherings of friends and families. At the end of the day, however, the space must be practical as well as beautiful.

The Good Life

Living Room Designs

A home’s living room is one of the most multi-functional, highly used rooms in any house. “No two living rooms are alike,” Carroll said. For some clients, a living room serves as a

One of Carroll’s favorite living room projects is a testament to her knowledge and application of color, with the use of crisp greens playing off crimson tones in the artwork for a beautiful contemporary feel. “This is color at work for an energizing design.” Using the beautiful, rugged desert as a breathtaking visual backdrop is also her forte, as seen in a Foothills home that is “a sanctuary like no other,” Carroll said. “I feel totally comfortable mixing textures and fabric to create a memorable and dynamic space. When it’s done well, it’s gorgeous.” Another luxurious Ventana Canyon home is a feast of textures created from top with the wood latticework to bottom with rustic brick flooring and impactful rugs and lighting. “This is a wonderful environment where durability and beauty co-exist together,” she said.

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PHOTOS BY WILLIAM LESCH

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Stunning Kitchen Designs

Kitchens serve as a home’s central nervous system, according to Carroll. They serve as a place where food is prepared, where people gather and converse, and where work is done. As such, functionality is of utmost importance. “While function may dictate the general scope of the kitchen, there is plenty of room to push the envelope,” she said. Advances in materials and kitchen technologies have made for many opportunities to create statements. Carroll said she views kitchens as the ultimate place to meld impeccable design with practical functionality.

One of Carroll’s ultra-modern kitchen designs for a Foothills home won the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2016 Kitchen of the Year. The room

was completely wrapped in afromosia, a wood with beautiful, exotic qualities. “When we first started creating the initial concepts, this project just felt really good,” Carroll recalled. “I told one of my team members that the project was definitely special.” Modern kitchens, she said, provide a perfect opportunity to make visual impact. An open uncluttered layout is critical. In the Foothills kitchen, the wrap-around wood warms what could have been a cold and dark space. Additional lighting draws attention to the height of the room and its clean lines. While the design is minimalist, with multiple spaces to encourage small gatherings, it’s inviting and functional. “The continued on page 130 >>>

PHOTO BY BRITTA VAN VRANKEN – COMPOSITION BY CHRIS MOONEY

The Heart of the Home

The Lori Carroll & Associates Team Back row from left

Becky Eppihimer Elle Taft Debra Gelety Karen Hamill Josh Heros

Front row from left

Kat Saucedo Lori Carroll Laurie Colburn

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BizDESIGN continued from page 129 handcrafted materials, artisan touches and timeless styling here really made for a dramatic statement,” she said. A transitional style reigned supreme in another of Carroll’s welcoming kitchens, where warm ivory cabinets encircle a complementary gray and tan wood island. The granite marries the palette of both and the expansive lighting fixtures illuminate the entire space. “This design is inclusive, inspiring and innovative,” she said.

Eating in Style

Dining Room Designs

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PHOTO BY JON MANCUSO

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In interior design, the lion’s share of attention is given to kitchens and main living spaces, meaning areas like dining rooms are sometimes forgotten. However, the dining room of a home is the ideal space to entertain guests and, most importantly, push the “wow” factor, Carroll said. She’s drawn on a variety of sources for dining room design inspiration – from the homeowner’s favorite colors to the home’s surrounding landscape and, of course, how the room will ultimately be used. One distinctive dining room is an extension of the home’s award-winning modern kitchen. Warm wood wraps the wall without dominating the room. A modern metal light fixture is as much sculptural as it is functional. A wooden dining table mixes up the room’s modern theme by introducing new colors. Contemporary oyster-colored fabric chairs provide an inviting space for people to gather, slow down and enjoy one another’s company. Finally, granite accents tie the design together for a cohesive, sophisticated look. Located in stunning Stone Canyon, another contemporary dining room utilizes a neutral palette with small pops of color. Though they share one large open space, the dining room, living room and outdoor spaces remain distinctive yet balanced, providing multiple spaces for people to gather. continued on page 133>>>


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PHOTO BY WILLIAM LESCH

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At-Home Oasis

Bathroom Designs

The bathroom is probably the most private room in any home. It’s a place for relaxation and renewal, far away from the noise and distraction of the world outside. It’s no surprise that most homeowners try to infuse spa-like themes in this space – items like soothing and neutral colors, natural materials that evoke the outdoors and lots of light. The goal is to construct a serene retreat that’s insulated from everyday life. With a blend of deep walnut set against two stark white sinks and an elegant freestanding bathtub, a bathroom can be a beautiful example of modern tranquility. Carroll’s favorite part of one project was the textural tile behind the tub. “It’s a perfect example of blending design with texture,” she said. That room won a 2019 American Society of Interior Designers First Place award for Best Large Bathroom and Best of Show. “When I’m selecting materials, I like to push the envelope and locate new and interesting products – not based on trends.” she said. “It’s putting them together. Every project is a puzzle.” No design opportunity escapes Lori Carroll, which is why she has a particular affection for designing powder rooms. “Clients often express that they are at a loss for how to address a small powder room,” she said. “I’m always up for a challenge. This is where you can be extremely creative.” “When designing a powder room, I like to provide an element of surprise, unique detail and make it original to provide a lasting impression,” she said. “So, when you are in there, you are in

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continued from page 133 awe.” For example, the use of textured wood on a wall in a powder room is a powerful rustic tapestry against the modern sink and bathroom fixtures. Carroll earned the 2016 Designer K&B Awards’ International Design of the Year for a transcendent powder room that features a spectacular onyx countertop and glass sink. “The floating semi-precious stone vanity sparkles like jewelry,” Carroll said. “Color has everything to do with setting the tone in a space.” She noted that lighting greatly affects the perception of color, which is why it’s such a critical design element.

The Great Outdoors

Landscape Designs

A great outdoor space should seamlessly blend the outdoors with the indoors, Carroll said. The landscape should also give the home extra impact – the ultimate finishing touch. To achieve this, Carroll approaches each outdoor project with what she calls a “destination mindset.” In other words, she hopes to evoke an athome luxury resort experience. This often means tying together outdoor dining and living areas with swimming pools and other features. For an intimate outdoor space, the geometry of a trio of fireplace sculptures seamlessly corresponds with the modernity and sleek lines of the living room and staircase in full view through large expansive glass doors. “The clean lines feel timehonored and fresh,” she said.

Suite Dreams

Bedrooms are another space where people want a restful, but gorgeous respite from daily life. Great bedroom designs balance beauty with practicality, Carroll said, and she works hard to ensure that her designs layer elements to build interesting spaces. In one master suite design that is one of Carroll’s favorites, she was able to subtly give a nod to the client’s travels while also accentuating the breathtaking views just outside the window. Dimensional tile makes a unique backdrop for the television, which features LED backlighting. The limestone flooring and neutral rug complement, rather than distract, from the views. The chairs in this design were among Carroll’s favorite items. “They were very organic, almost like they grew there,” she laughed. “I also installed hidden window treatments so nothing could take away from those desert views.” continued on page 136 >>>

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PHOTO BY JON MANCUSO

Bedroom Designs


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Form and Function

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PHOTO BY KRIS HANNING

Commercial Designs

Carroll has used her design expertise to design commercial spaces that are both stunning and inclusive. She’s re-imagined restaurant spaces, medical offices, boutique hotels and even sorority and fraternity houses at the University of Arizona. She said the process for commercial projects is very similar to the approach she takes for residential homes, and she enjoys them equally. “I like both residential and commercial,” she said. “I have the mindset of incorporating commercial products in all my projects because they’re more durable and sustainable.” The firm has worked on new builds as well as remodels, from small projects to those that surpass 30,000 square feet. Recently, Carroll and her team completed a waiting room as part of the firm’s entire design for the new Retina Associates location. Like the residential projects she’s worked on, a clean modern look coupled with appealing, comforting colors and abundant functionality were at the forefront of the design. At the Lodge at Ventana Canyon, a new look for the private club and resort’s bar and grill was a welcomed upgrade for the members and guests. Carroll, who likes to call the project “Fore!,” mingles vibrant color tiles on the wall against a giant photograph of one of the club’s most scenic golf holes. The result brings “conversation elements with playful demeanor” to the oft-used casual dining area. Lori Carroll & Associates also created an award-winning design for a bathroom remodel at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon. “It was a rewarding project being able to make such a statement,” Carroll said of the re-design of the main public bathroom off the lobby. The design won the 2013 ASID First Place award for a commercial single space. “I have to say I feel very fortunate to be able to collaborate with incredibly talented vendors, amazing associates, innovative architects and wonderful clients to create dynamic and memorable living environments.”

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A Celebrated Career in Design Lori Carroll’s prodigious design resume includes more than 100 design awards, over 200 features in more than 50 publications and appearances on both regional and national television shows. A look at some of her best and brightest over the years:

AWARDS 2020 Ferguson Best of Show Master Bath 2019 Sources for Design Design Icon – Interiors 2018 NAHB Best in American Living Awards Platinum Award – Bath Remodel Over $50,000 2018 NKBA Design Competition First Place – Powder Room 2017 NKBA Design Competition Bath of the Year

PHOTO BY WILLIAM LESCH

2017 Designer K & B Awards International Designer of the Year – Finalist 2016 Designer K & B Awards International Design of the Year – Powder Room 2016 NKBA Design Competition Kitchen of the Year

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATIONS Objekt International

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2016 HGTV National Kitchen Bath Association People’s Choice Award – No-Threshold Showers 2015 Viking Kitchen Design Competition Designer of Distinction – January 2012-2013 ASID Design Excellence Awards Best of Show/First Place – Commercial Singular Space 2011 ASID Design Excellence Awards Best of Show/First Place – Large Bathrooms 2010 ASID Design Excellence Awards Best of Show/First Place – Singular Residential Space 2009 NKBA Design Competition Best Overall Award – Bathroom/Powder Room 2008 SunWest/Viking Life of the Kitchen Design Contest People’s Choice – Best Indoor Kitchen

NATIONAL TV

HGTV “Dream House” HGTV “Before & After Spaces”

2007 International Kitchen & Bath Business Review Industry Award, London – Finalist 2006 National Kitchen & Bath Association Pinnacle of Design – Open Plan Kitchen 2005 ASID Design Excellence Awards Best of Show/First Place – Residential Over 3,500 Square Feet 2005 National Kitchen & Bath Association First Place – Powder Rooms 2004 ASID Design Excellence Awards Best of Show/ First Place – Residential Over 3,500 Square Feet 2000 ASID Design Excellence Awards Best of Show/ First Place – Residential Under 3,500 Square Feet

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS American Society of Interior Designers

Architectural Digest

International Interior Design Association

Chicago Tribune

National Kitchen & Bath Association

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Dedication to Community Lori Carroll Lends Her Expertise

PHOTO BY AMY HASKELL

By Tara Kirkpatrick When the Tucson Soccer Academy wanted to turn an old building into a clubhouse for players at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, President Ted Schmidt asked Lori Carroll if she could help. The interior designer took over the entire project and completed it for free. “She not only designed it, she did all of the work contacting the vendors and got most of them to donate the materials to us – the tile, the kitchen appliances, the countertops,” said Schmidt, a local attorney whose academy is now called FC Tucson Youth Soccer Club. “It certainly wouldn’t have happened in the way it did if it hadn’t been for Lori. She saved us tens of thousands of dollars.” It’s just one example of Carroll’s philanthropy over the years to a region where she and her design firm, Lori Carroll & Associates, have become purveyors of elegant, timeless design. Just as she runs her company with a dogged work ethic and meticulous devotion to detail, so does she extend her compassion and service to numerous organizations. The Ann Kathryn Schmidt Kickin’ It Clubhouse, named in honor of Schmidt’s late wife, features a kitchen, office space, a weight room and physical therapy room. It has served not only as a place for overnight team stays and soccer club www.BizTucson.com

trainings, but as precious meeting space for community groups. “She put her heart and soul into it,” he said. “It’s a remarkable facility.” “When they reached out to me to see if I could help, I said I will do whatever I can,” recalled Carroll, whose two kids had played in the soccer academy. “This was something I was really proud of. It just really warmed my heart to be able to assist with this project.” Carroll’s generosity has also touched other organizations. As a member of the Silver & Turquoise Board of Hostesses, Carroll funded the cost of a new website for the 70-year-old organization whose annual ball proceeds currently support the San Xavier Mission.

Back row from left – Lori Carroll, Valerie Samoy-Alvarado and Ted Schmidt. Front row from left – Jon Fenton and George Kuck

“Since joining S&T in 2010, Lori has been a valued member of a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve Tucson’s historical and cultural heritage – most recently as a benefactor for the San Xavier Mission,” said 2022 S&T Ball Chair Amy Bhola. “S&T has benefitted from Lori’s vision to bring us into the modern era by helping to underwrite our first website, which has become an important communication tool for members and the community.” Bhola added, “She has graciously agreed to serve as Ball Chair for the 71st Silver & Turquoise Ball in 2023.” Carroll also is a trustee for the Tucson Museum of Art – a position that speaks to her love of art and design. “I love collaborating with all of these welltraveled trustees,” she said. “It’s so wonderful. Art is such a personal expression of an artist.” “Lori is not only an exemplary trustee,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the museum’s Jon and Linda Ender director and CEO. “She is an ambassador to the impact and transformative power of art. Whether supporting the museum through her work on various committees, touring the galleries with her staff, clients and friends or promoting TMA on her media channels, Lori goes above and beyond to amplify the museum’s work.” Biz Fall 2021

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Lori Carroll A Visionary in Interior Design

For Lori Carroll, there was never a question of what she would do with her life. That fate was sealed as a child growing up in Iowa, helping her dad in his lumberyard. “I had access to construction materials, I watched meetings with contractors, I helped my father with inventory, I learned at a young age to mix paint. It was my comfort zone,” she said. “By 7th grade, I knew what I was going to do in my life and that doesn’t happen for a lot of people,” said the renowned Southern Arizona interior designer and owner of Lori Carroll & Associates. “There was no wasted time. I reflect on how long I’ve been doing this, and I don’t feel like its work. It’s my passion and my love.” continued on page 146 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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By Tara Kirkpatrick


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often said to me, ‘I want you to love your house!’ She lives by that motto.”

Early Studies & Influences

Carroll enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1981 to study interior design and had the chance to study at the University of Copenhagen in 1986. “I was in Denmark for a whole summer and the program was set up where we toured around Sweden, Norway and Finland,” she recalled. “Just seeing the attention to detail. They construct their buildings to last hundreds of years. It doesn’t have to be shiny and new to be beautiful.”

From remodeling our Tucson home to selecting furniture for our Wyoming house, she has always brought a fresh perspective to every project. Her designs are inventive and livable. She often said to me, ‘I want you to love your house!’ She lives by that motto. – Cindy

Parseghian President Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation & Lori Carroll Client

To this day, she’s still awed by her visit to the famous Louis Poulsen factory, the iconic Danish lighting manufacturer founded in 1874. “In the 1980s, they were using robots to create their products!” she exclaimed.

As a UArizona student, Carroll worked at Contents Furniture, driven to learn as much as she could about each aspect of the industry. “One of the key things I learned there was being able to listen to people’s wants and communicate well,” she said. “And follow-up – follow-up is huge.” “You could tell from an early age that Lori was going to be very successful,” said Eric Castillo, whose family owned a reprographics business that Carroll frequented for her school projects. “She carried herself very professionally and treated our employees and staff as working collaborators. You could tell that she embraced her education and she wanted to excel when she finished school as a working design professional.” After she graduated, Carroll stayed at Contents until 1987. In 1990, she formed the Interline Design Group with partners and eventually became president of what grew to be one of the largest interior design firms in Arizona. In 2000, she launched Lori Carroll & Associates. “There were goals I wanted to achieve before I finished my career and one was to have my own design studio,” she said. “I was a new mom when I started my business. I don’t know how I was able to manage all that was required. You just don’t think about it and you do it.”

A Force in Design

Today, the mom and grandmother has built her company on the foundation of uncompromising hard work and a talented team. An admirer of color and form, Carroll always totes design magazines with her and relishes the discovery of new materials and looks. “I’m like a kid in a candy shop, if I go to a showroom and see a new wall covering or a new tile. I am always on the lookout for something fresh, creative and impactful.” She is a firm and assured voice for her projects at each construction site – something she attributes to playing high school sports and serving as a statistician for her school’s football team. “Having these very large players come up to me on the sideline, asking me for their stats – you have to be able to read continued on page 148 >>> www.BizTucson.com

PHOTOS BY WILLIAM LESCH AND JON MANCUSO

continued from page 145 It’s not hyperbole to say Carroll, who celebrates more than three decades in design, is the region’s most prolific and preeminent source of elegant desert living. Her timeless aesthetic graces residential and commercial projects throughout Arizona and beyond. Over her career, she has received more than 100 regional, national and international awards, has appeared on national TV design shows and has been featured in more than 50 publications. She just released her first book, “Circle Square Balance Hue.” “She’s incredible, not only from her designs but who she is as a person,” said Kelley Taylor Ross, a longtime family friend. “Her courage, work ethic and determination really speak for her and you can see that in her work. She is an incredible woman.” Known for innovative combinations of texture, materials and color, especially in powder rooms and kitchens, Carroll and her team have infused the “wow” factor into projects from remodeling sorority houses to designing luxury foothills homes to renovating medical and office buildings. A tenacious and consummate professional who often answers emails at all hours, she has earned the respect and praise of clients, builders, contractors and vendors alike. Truly, no one outworks her. “Lori and I spent many years building very high-end homes,” said retired builder Jeff Wilmeng. “These homes were the most prestigious homes being built in Tucson, and all ended as beautiful homes with happy clients. While Lori’s design talents are obvious, it takes much attention to the process to work with clients for those long periods of construction. Lori was always professional and fun, and made working on these projects with her very rewarding, for me, the trade people and the clients.” “Lori has worked on several of my projects over the last 20 years,” said Cindy Parseghian, president of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. “From remodeling our Tucson home to selecting furniture for our Wyoming house, she has always brought a fresh perspective to every project. Her designs are inventive and livable. She


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BizDESIGN continued from page 146 people and I think that is one thing I’ve been able to develop. You encounter all sorts of personalities on a job site.” To that end, Carroll knows when a job has been done poorly and isn’t afraid to ask for a redo, whether it’s an incorrectly assembled custom table or an errant tile design. Yet, she is the first to genuinely thank people for doing things well. “I always send them thank you notes,” she said. “I feel very strongly about that. Some contractors are up at 4 a.m., busting their butts to make things happen. I respect and appreciate what they do.” That respect is the reason Otto Rankin, a window covering specialist, will work all night installing a project for Carroll and be on call for her 24 hours a day. “She will give you an opportunity – but you really have to shine. I was fortunate to get that opportunity to work with her about 12 years ago and I made the cut. I’ve been blessed to work with her ever since.” When Brad and Anita Feder were

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building their expansive home in conjunction with HGTV’s “Dream House” series, they wanted Carroll to design it. “The fact that HGTV had really never featured a house on the West Coast and because of the unique design of the house, they were delighted to film the process in Tucson,” said Anita. “We were thrilled to be working with Lori at the time and to have her be part of the process. “Lori made it such a fun experience and she really was able to make both of us happy even when Brad and I didn’t always agree,” she said. “We enjoyed every interaction with Lori and would work with her again if we ever built another home in Tucson.” Notable UArizona donors Cole and Jeannie Davis also worked with Carroll on their dream home and have since become her close friends. “We essentially lived together for three years as it was being built,” Jeannie said. “I would email thoughts I had to her in the middle of the night and I couldn’t believe it, she would get right

back to me!” she said. “She was just a real force for us. She always sought our input and offered numerous options for everything. Virtually every room in this house has her fingerprints on it.” That includes a distinctive deep purple ceiling in one room that Jeannie initially doubted. “In the end, it was dead-on,” she said. “It’s just so perfect.” “This house is a magnificent piece of work and I credit a lot to Lori for its uniqueness,” Jeannie said. “So many of the things she suggested would never have occurred to us.” After suffering a house fire a few years ago, Ron and Elsie Genova are currently working with Carroll on the renovation. “She and her staff are just so creative and they listen very attentively to the things you like or the things you think you might like and they come up with suggestions and ideas. They are a pleasure to work with and she leads them well,” said Elsie Genova.

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Bill Lesch

Jon Mancuso

One of the greatest assets a designer can have is an incredible photographer. With countless spaces, details and textures to capture, a memorable design can only be truly shown through beautiful images. Showcasing impeccable photography of spaces is necessary for getting awards & prospective clients, but also provides a library of work to look back on. This is why Lori Carroll & her team are blessed to have not one but two exceptional photographers in their arsenal. “Bill Lesch & Jon Mancuso have been a true asset to our success over the past 20 years” says Lori “Their unique styles in photography have allowed us to convey

PHOTO BY WILLIAM LESCH

all aspects of a space”. By having these talented artists, Lori & her team can show all characteristics of a design - from the entirety of a great room to the singular details in a backsplash or wallcovering - and everything in between.

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Lori Carroll’s Principles for Success Lori Carroll has amassed more than three decades of visionary, award-winning interior design throughout Southern Arizona and beyond. Here are some of the guiding principles that have shaped her career: CUSTOMER SERVICE IS #1 “Customer service is essential to our success. Continually striving to provide clients with a positive overall experience during the complete design process. Excellent customer service involves meeting and surpassing expectations.” BE A GREAT COMMUNICATOR “Working in the design field for over 35 years, I have found that continuous communication is key! Not only with clients, but vendors and associates as well. Never assume anything!” SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE BEST “I attribute my success to being able to work with amazing clients, contractors and associates and having the opportunity to collaborate with those who understand and trust my vision year after year.

PAY YOURSELF LAST “Exceptional customer service plays a key role in my success. Achieving that requires a team that includes a variety of businesses and talented vendors. My professional ethic, especially as a small business owner, is understanding that timely payments are essential to the livelihood of others. I believe in paying my vendors promptly as a crucial element of doing business. SAY THANK YOU “Thank you notes are so important to me. I raised my children to have this value, and, to this day, they practice this in their own lives. It is being respectful and appreciative for those who go above and beyond no matter what. A simple thank you goes a long way.” www.BizTucson.com

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STAY FOCUSED “When arriving at job sites, it is important to stay focused on the questions that are immediate and provide answers in order for the projects to continue moving forward and getting to the finish line.”

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Work from Home A Designer’s Thoughts for Hybrid Spaces By Tara Kirkpatrick If the last 18 months of managing the COVID-19 pandemic have offered one lesson, it’s the importance of a functional and desirable home office. “When working from home versus the office, it is important to include the functional amenities that inspire productivity while considering the sanctity of your home,” said designer Lori Carroll, who for decades has been creating award-winning spaces. “Contemplate a space that won’t impede the normal traffic flow of your home or current lifestyle. Limit yourself to one central area to contain workrelated material.” “Without a dedicated room for a home office, with some creativity and space planning you can fit a desk and storage options just about anywhere,” she said. The following is Carroll’s playbook on designing this hybrid workspace. How to select an area for a home office: Bedrooms are typically more secluded, away from the distractions of more active family spaces. While a bedroom office has drawbacks, the biggest plus is you are mere steps from work in the morning. continued on page 154 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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When working from home versus the office, it is important to include the functional amenities that inspire productivity while considering the sanctity of your home.

Lori Carroll Owner Lori Carroll & Associates –

continued from page 153 Family Rooms can be the perfect space for a home office with the addition of some practical furnishings that blend with the aesthetic of your home. A simple room divider can add additional privacy when working from a more family-oriented area. Living or Dining Rooms can become a practical place to set up a home office either in a convenient corner, behind existing furnishings or in a dining room cabinet where paperwork can be easily stowed. Kitchens are already equipped with a table, countertops and vertical surfaces that are convenient for setting up work spaces; the drawback being having to move work-related materials for food preparation and eating. Designate a less used section of the kitchen, then invest in a comfortable, movable chair. Laundry Rooms can be converted into a home office by utilizing or adding a surface that can be used as a desk or folding station. Most laundry rooms already have built-in storage and a door. Closets can become a smaller scale home office, offering a little separation from the work space and the rest of the room. By removing the doors and adding a desk and shelves inside the alcove, a closet can be an ideal place to work.

How to Furnish a Home Office •

A home office should reflect the style, décor, and comfort of the home. Select furnishings that are functional yet beautiful.

Depending on space and budget, for a more permanent home office set-up, built-ins can include cabinetry, floating shelves, desks and bookcases.

Evaluate just how a home office will be used when designing the space. If work requires being able to spread out, choose an area for a larger desk.

Color is an important element in a home office design; opt for shades that echo your work ethic; start with neutrals and add cool accents to calm and brighten your mood or warmer, vivid tones to improve energy levels.

To add interest to the space, cover an accent wall with a contemporary wallcovering, cork board or even magnetic chalkboard paint to save notes and display ideas, drawings and photos.

Use the desk or bookcases as room dividers and extra storage. Movable, dual purpose furnishings can also be used.

Custom storage can be added to any space, optimizing efficiency. Use ordinary furniture pieces like a storage ottoman to keep office essentials, too.

A floating desk leaves room for necessary items underneath, while fold down desks can be closed to make space in the room and hide any clutter.

Add a sofa or comfortable chair to sit and reflect on the tasks at hand.

• •

Add a feeling of luxury with an area rug.

Position the desk so there isn’t a glare on the computer monitor from either the window or overhead light.

Personalize the space regardless of the size. Candles, plants and art are great options.

• •

A pleasing scent can boost concentration and enthusiasm.

If a view isn’t possible, face the door instead of a blank wall. If a wall is the only option, hang a beautiful piece of artwork above the desk.

Choose a distinctive office chair that is ergonomic, relaxing and adds interest to the space.

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Circle Square Balance Hue Lori Carroll’s New Look Book

PHOTOS BY JON MANCUSO

By Tara Kirkpatrick Circle. Square. Balance. Hue. These four simple words ingeniously define Lori Carroll’s design legacy; hence, the perfect title for her first book. “As the title of this book, created during an evening spent with close friends, it has a much deeper meaning, one that represents my philosophies, abilities and attitude toward interior design and life,” the Southern Arizona designer explained in the book’s introduction. “Circle Square Balance Hue” is a comprehensive portfolio of Carroll’s

body of work across the Sonoran Desert and beyond. Meticulously created over four years, the 94-page book is filled with vibrant photographs of her richly designed spaces and projects over the last two decades – many of which have garnered international and national awards. A dazzling sculptural lighting fixture. A fiery, illuminated glass bathroom countertop. An opulently tiled shower. A curved kitchen counter that gives way to a resplendent desert view. They are

all captured in luxurious detail in “Circle Square Balance Hue.” “As I’m getting older, I wanted to document the scope of my work,” Carroll said. “It’s an expression of my work, showing each of my projects and all the detail that went into creating each space. There is so much that goes into each of these projects.” The book begins with the dynamic living rooms Carroll has designed for clients and then highlights her designs of kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, continued on page 158 >>>

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BizDESIGN continued from page 157 bedroom suites, outdoor spaces, specialty rooms such as home theaters and showroom garages, and, finally, custom product designs. The collection of images is also a lookbook of the work of many artisans and vendors Carroll has partnered with over the years. “I feel very fortunate that, throughout my career in Tucson, I have worked with so many very talented vendors,” she said. “I think my success is not about me, it’s about my contractors and team – everyone who has been so dedicated over the years.” In each chapter, Carroll pairs the pictures with her design philosophies and personal commentary. “Bathrooms may be one of the most private spaces of a home, but that certainly doesn’t mean they cannot thrill with captivating design elements or the relaxing cadence of a spa-inspired haven,” Carroll wrote in the chapter Bathroom Bliss. “I love focusing on this smaller, but significant area of the home and working through the design challenges that demand the space to be

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at once comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, but also highly functional.” Regarding bedroom suites, “although the bed is generally the focal point, I like to look to other key areas in a bedroom to accentuate,” she wrote. “Maybe it’s the warmth of a statement fireplace surrounded by a composed seating vignette, or the wonder of a spectacular view that beautifully invades the room, acting as its own artwork.” “There is a lot of attention to detail in this book,” Carroll said. “The more you look, the more you see. Sometimes, people have a hard time mixing materials and textures, but what you’ll see is that it makes for very personalized spaces.” The book has already sold out of its first press run and for Carroll, it’s now the perfect calling card for her new clients. “It’s the best way of presenting what I’m about.”

Contact Lori Carroll & Associates if interested in purchasing a copy of Circle Square Balance Hue 520.886.3443

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Meritage Homes

The Ritz-Carlton Residences Dove Mountain

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New Homes Now

Builders Ride Wave of Historic Housing Demand By Jay Gonzales

More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the global economy, the real estate market in the Tucson region is still riding a wave of historically peak demand with no end in sight. New-home builders are finding a market flush with buyers. Waiting lists for new homes are long. Interest rates are low. Inventory in the resale market also is at a historic low point, creating a demand that far outweighs the supply. Across the board, builders, land developers and others in the real estate market agree that the pandemic has had a massive impact, but not in the way they expected when COVID-19 hit with full force last spring. After a brief pause in April, May and a portion of June, the market picked up and sped off into the distance. Everyone in the industry has been trying to keep up since then. “At this time last year, we saw a spike coming out of COVID. We had no idea that it would continue for a full year and that there would continued on page 168 >>> www.BizTucson.com

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BizHOUSING continued from page 167 be such pressure on labor and materials to keep up,” said David Goldstein, president of Diamond Ventures, the developer of Rocking K, one of the seven active master-planned communities in the region. Rocking K is building out 2,000 acres of land south of Old Spanish Trail east of the city limits and has plans for another 2,500 acres on the north side. Filling the first phase of the development is happening faster than expected. Goldstein said when Rocking K opened in August 2019, he projected a 10- to 12-year sellout of the 4,200 residential units in the first 2,000 acres. Today, he thinks that section will sell out in closer to six to eight years. “I think it’s just a longer-term trend right now,” Goldstein said. Buyers “want a little extra room. They’re going to spend more time in the house. In some cases, they have another family member living with them. All of that seems to be a trend and I don’t see it

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At this time last year, we saw a spike coming out of COVID. We had no idea that it would continue for a full year and that there would be such pressure on labor and materials to keep up.

David Goldstein President Diamond Ventures Developer of Rocking K –

changing very much.” Everyone is riding the wave, from the multimillion-dollar custom-home market to the builders aimed at firsttime buyers. At high-end developments like Saguaro Ranch on the far northwest side, and Coyote Creek near Vail, lots ranging in price from hundreds of thousands of dollars to $1 million are flying off the proverbial shelves. KB Home’s Mountain Enclave project, an infill development on Mountain Avenue between Fort Lowell Road and Prince Road, had a waiting list of 400 prospective buyers before a single model was built. Those homes will start at about $310,000. “Things remain really strong in the real estate market in general. Home building has seen a pretty solid yearover-year increase in terms of the number of permits,” said David Godlewski, president of Southern Arizona Home Builders Association. “We’re about 40% or so over where we were at this point last year. I think people had ex-


pected 2021 to be strong, but perhaps not as strong as it’s ended up being. Everyone is encouraged by the amount of activity, but there’s also a question about the sustainability of the market.” And there’s the rub. How long can it last and what amount of risk are builders and developers willing to take? For the most part, they have to project sales at least two years into the future before committing to a development. There’s also the specter of the “housing bubble” that led to the Great Recession of 2008 and whether that can happen again. “What typically causes a housing bubble like we saw is an over-abundant amount of supply and a sharp decline in demand,” said Jon Volpe, CEO of NOVA Home Loans, a mortgage lender based in Tucson. “We had builders constructing spec homes before contracts were in place,” Volpe said. “Borrowers were buying multiple properties under stated income programs with no skin in the game. It

Home building has seen a pretty solid year-over-year increase in terms of the number of permits.

David Godlewski President Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association –

felt like the only requirement to get approved for a home loan back then was having a pulse. Fast forward to today, we have some of the tightest inventories ever. Demand is extremely strong and increasing due to demographics.” For now, builders said they are going full speed ahead because they believe the developments already in the works will absorb the current market. As they plan new developments beyond what’s already for sale, there’s some uncertainty as to how long this can go, and it’s complicated by how long it takes to ready a property to build. From the time a piece of land has been purchased and is ready to begin development, it’s a two-year process to complete all the engineering, planning and permitting and then add the infrastructure like utilities and roads, said Greg Mohl, VP at Sunbelt Holdings. Sunbelt has six developments in the area with a half-dozen home builders in those developments. continued on page 170 >>>

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BizHOUSING Gladden Farms

Gladden Farms continued from page 169 As a land developer, Mohl said, the trick is to project when it’s time to get to work on a land holding to ready it for the builders. “The risk involved there is if we start a bunch of that development, two years from now do (builders) want it?” Mohl said. “There’s certainly a lot of analysis that goes into trying to figure out how that’s going to look two years from now. “Right now, anything that we have ready to go, we’ll sell pretty much right away. And the prices are higher than they’ve ever been. Demand is highest that we’ve seen. It’s just a matter of can we get this stuff ready to go?” While the builders and developers have a long way to go to fill in the properties that will be on the market now and for about the next two years, there is some concern about growth after that. Will White, who runs the local office of Land Advisors Organization, a national company that brokers land deals here, is sounding a bit of an alarm that 170 BizTucson

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land is going to get harder to come by because of the demand and because a vast majority of the area’s empty space is land held by the state of Arizona. Land Advisors’ clients are mainly companies developing master-planned communities. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 years since we opened. I’ve never seen it whipsaw like it has,” he said. “Single-family, new-home permits are tracking 50% over last year so it’s not stopping at all. In fact, it’s probably gaining more momentum than it had last year at this time. “The problem is the region wasn’t ready for that at all. The home builders weren’t ready for it. The developers weren’t ready for it. We can’t feed the machine appropriately.” White said that combining the low inventory of resale homes with the current demand, the new-home market is having the most trouble keeping up. “Everything’s backed up. We can’t get the lots even prepared for (build-

Single-family, new-home permits are tracking 50% over last year so it’s not stopping at all. In fact, it’s probably gaining more momentum than it had last year at this time.

Will White Land Broker Land Advisors Organization –

ers) to open new communities,” he said. They’re selling faster out of their existing communities, and we can’t replace them fast enough. We’re probably going to run into a traffic jam at some point where the builders just have to sit and wait for the new communities.” With the topography of the region, growth is being squeezed into three continued on page 172 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizHOUSING continued from page 170 corridors – to the northwest through Marana and toward Phoenix; to the southeast through Vail along Interstate 10, and to the southwest along Valencia Road where a major development is ongoing near Casino del Sol. Developments are moving farther out of town and buyers aren’t hesitating to go there. Gladden Farms, which would have been considered the edge of the metro area at Tangerine Road and I-10, is not the region’s farthest development to the northwest. That label belongs to Red Rock Village, a Sunbelt Holdings development on the other side of the Pima County line. Coyote Creek, a customhome development, Rocking K and Mountain View Ranch, a development being built by Holualoa Companies, are stretching out near and past Vail. Star Valley is an active community west on Valencia Road. And Rancho Sahuarita to the south has been active for 20 years and is still going strong. Gladden Farms opened 20 years ago and recently took a different approach to attracting home builders to the development, said Dean Wingert, VP of Crown West Realty, the developer at Gladden Farms as well as a smaller project in Corona de Tucson, southeast of the city. At Gladden Farms, Wingert said sales had picked up in 2019 as they were selling land to builders with the added incentive that it would come ready to develop with roads and utilities already in place. It was embedded in the price, thus taking the risk of those costs changing by the time the property was ready. Like it was for everyone else, April, May and June 2020 was a time of uncertainty and concern for Crown West. And like everyone else, business picked up midsummer. “There was probably about a twomonth period where everybody wanted to take a time out and we had some deals in escrow that got canceled,” Wingert said. “Certainly, everybody was concerned.” Sales offices closed their doors and sales were being done virtually. Some builders would meet buyers in person by appointment with social distanc-

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Mountain View Ranch

continued from page 172 ing, but those were the aggressive ones, Wingert said. But after that two-month pause came a realization. “Builders all realized, ‘Man, we’re selling houses. Despite all of these obstacles, we’re selling houses.’ ” Wingert said. “They were calling us again, saying they were going to need some more lots.” As the sales picked up, builders and developers cited a number of reasons related to the pandemic. Among them:

The pandemic opened the door to working remotely, allowing workers from large metro areas to relocate here for the foreseeable future; Buyers were leaving large, cramped metropolitan areas for the wide open spaces here; Looking for somewhere to relocate, the region’s affordability, not only in home prices but in overall living, was attractive; Buyers who were already here were looking for new features in their homes to address changes in lifestyle, such as the need for a home office or a space for schooling;

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The region’s job market and attraction of companies in A-list industries such as bioscience, aerospace and technology;

• Interest

rates have remained low, opening the market to more buyers.

A year later, builders and developers universally agree that all those considerations remain in play, are having a huge impact on the market and will for some time. “It’s the perfect storm,” said Rick Kauffman, CEO of Holualoa Companies. “You’ve got interest rates. You’ve got the COVID impact. You’ve got our excellent job growth. You’ve got our weather. You put all that together and it just makes Tucson a very, very attractive place to be.” While home prices have increased dramatically since before the pandemic, the region is still considered extremely affordable nationally, Kauffman said. This is certainly demonstrated by where the out-of-town buyers are coming from in every category of home pricing. Buyers are still coming from Southern California, the Midwest and the East Coast. Peter and Debbie Backus, developers of Coyote Creek near Vail, say about

You’ve got interest rates. You’ve got the COVID impact. You’ve got our excellent job growth. You’ve got our weather. You put all that together and it just makes Tucson a very, very attractive place to be.

– Rick Kauffman CEO Holualoa Companies Developer of Mountain View Ranch

60% and maybe as many as 75% of their buyers are locals who are relocating. But they are seeing an influx of buyers from a new region for Tucson – the Northwest, Washington and Oregon. Peter Backus said those coming from the northwest are coming for one reason – the weather. “They’re just sick of rain, rain, rain, rain,” Backus said. “The people that we’ve seen just don’t like that weather 12 months out of the year. They want a break. A lot of the people in Washington and Oregon just want to see blue skies and no rain.” Jeff Grobstein, division president of Meritage Homes – Tucson, one of the national builders with a strong prescontinued on page 176 >>> www.BizTucson.com


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BizHOUSING continued from page 174 ence in the region, said he’s seeing the same migration as always, from California and the Midwest. While Meritage has subdivisions in the high-end Stone Canyon development in Oro Valley, its focus is on first-time buyers and buyers moving up for the first time. With that focus, he said he thinks interest rates are the primary factor for the staying power of the current market. But for those moving from other markets, it’s affordability and the equity that buyers bring from wherever they’re coming from. “There’s no question in my mind a lot of the demand is still driven by interest rates,” he said. “We still have phenomenal interest rates that (are) helping drive a lot of our sales. “You have people coming out of other states that are bringing some equity to the table. It doesn’t really matter where it is in the country, the tide has risen. People in all parts of California can sell a home for $500,000, $600,000, and can come down here and pay cash, continued on page 178 >>>

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There’s no question in my mind a lot of the demand is still driven by interest rates.

– Jeff Grobstein Division President Meritage Homes - Tucson

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BizHOUSING continued from page 176 or they can get a mortgage.” Along with the usual, Anjela Salyer, division president of Mattamy Homes, which bases its Arizona operation in Phoenix, said she sees a few other factors in play. “People are seeking out an environment that has the same climate as Phoenix, but where you can find more affordability in housing,” she said. “I think we’re seeing a lot more of a younger demographic flocking to Tucson. The millennials continue to enter the home-buying market, seeing the value in homeownership and taking advantage of the low interest rates, comparing high rental costs to affordable home rates.” For one of the region’s stalwarts, Rancho Sahuarita south of Tucson, business continues to buzz for a development that began more than two decades ago. There is still some concern, although it’s not in the demand for homes. continued on page 180 >>>

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I think we’re in a really good place to finish out the residential that we have in escrow going into 2022. I think the demand is there.

Rancho Sahuarita

Jeremy Sharpe Developer Rancho Sahuarita –

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continued from page 178 “I think we’re in a really good place to finish out the residential that we have in escrow going into 2022. I think the demand is there,” said Jeremy Sharpe, the developer of Rancho Sahuarita. “What concerns me is the lack of labor and the cost of materials. Our home builders are taking two months longer to build a house once they have permits. On top of that, it’s taking two months longer for us to get entitlements. “That being said, we’re always hedging. We’re always watching it. I want to sell as fast as we can and get lots on the ground as fast as we can to meet the needs of our residents and of home buyers.” In terms of what’s being built throughout the region, it’s all over the board. Like Mattamy Homes, KB Home is focused on first-time buyers and is selling many of its homes virtually, a process that was inconceivable pre-pandemic but fits perfectly with its primary clientele. “Most of our buyers are local that decided not to rent any more – first-time buyers, millennials,” said Amy McReynolds, division president for KB Home. “Honestly, this pandemic adjustment that we’ve had to make with some of this virtual, online, digital and social media, it’s been really good in targeting the millennials.” The digital platforms allow buyers to go online and make custom choices for their homes. When it’s time to meet in person, most of the work is done. “We pivoted very quickly on the sales floor, quickly in the studio,” McReynolds said, recalling how the sales process evolved during the pandemic. “People are often challenged with change and had we pushed this through without the pandemic, it probably would have been a little slower process. This forced us to be fast and pivot quickly and make adjustments.” On the other end of the price spectrum, sales have picked up dramatically at one of the more unique developments in the area, Saguaro Ranch, at the north end of Thornydale Road, technically located in Marana but far from the town’s signature farmland. Access to Saguaro Ranch is through a mountain tunnel at the end of Thornydale Road. For the cost of a lot that would be a minimum of one acre and a home to go on top of it, the bottom price at Saguaro Ranch is around $1.8 million. A dozen lots have sold there in the last nine months with a top price of $1 million. This comes after a period of time when only a couple of lots would sell in a 12-month period, said Mike Conlin, the development’s manager. Lots are prepared and released slowly in consideration of the pristine environment. Scott Lundberg, president of Saguaro Property Development, said there is an “80/20 rule” in which only 20% of the land there will be developed. “It’s kind of the undeveloped pocket right in the middle of all this busy stuff,” Lundberg said. “Because of the 80/20 rule – I call it a rule – we’re going to be very less dense and have our space to be private.” Nestled between Dove Mountain and Stone Canyon, Sacontinued on page 182 >>>

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Our big push this year has been people coming who are now going to be full-time residents.

– Rich Oosterhuis Director of Sales & Marketing The Ritz-Carlton Residences Dove Mountain

continued from page 180 guaro Ranch is finding that some of its buyers are not just looking for a winter home, but are actually making Tucson their home. It’s something that Rich Oosterhuis is seeing at Dove Mountain where he is the director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Dove Mountain. “Our big push this year has been people coming who are now going to be full-time residents,” Oosterhuis said. “Whereas in the past, this might’ve been their second or, in some cases, their third home, we’re seeing people building a little bit bigger in terms of square footage because this is going to be their full-time spot.” Dove Mountain is seeing the same influx as the other builders and developers, from high-end to first-time buyers. They’re coming from the Northwest, California, the Midwest, the East Coast, and from within Tucson – stretching the boundaries of the metro area. “I think we’re going keep seeing it in Tucson and Dove Mountain and Marana,” Oosterhuis said. “We’re kind of the little hidden spot that people are discovering, and it’s just sort of booming now.”

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BizREALESTATE

Home Stretch Region’s Real Estate Demand Exceeds Supply By Jay Gonzales Randy Rogers has a word for the state of the local existing-home market for about the last year – “zooming.” There’s no pun intended there, said Rogers, president of the Tucson Association of Realtors, recognizing how the COVID-19 pandemic gave the word a new meaning because of the popular Zoom virtual meeting software. “Things ARE still zooming,” he said with emphasis. “Through this pandemic, the Southern Arizona region is benefiting from people’s desire to figure out where they want to live.” As it is with new-home sales, the demand for existing homes is far ahead of the supply for many of the same reasons – people are moving to Tucson; new and existing residents are looking for more space and amenities because they’re spending so much time in their homes; interest rates have remained low, giving buyers more power. Will White, whose company Land Advisors Organization brokers land deals for new-home builders, said 2021’s interest rates compared to 2018 allow a buyer to get $95,000 more home for the same mortgage payment. There’s one more factor that was a long time in developing, Rogers said. “There’s a 10-year lag of new construction,” he said. “We got hit so hard back in 2008, 2009, 2010, the builders really slowed down here. They went to places where the population was boom184 BizTucson

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ing. They went to Austin, they went to Phoenix, they went to Dallas, they went to places like that. We lost several of our local builders because they couldn’t make it.” That’s created today’s market where buyers compete with each other for an existing home or a new home, and that’s with the median price of an existing home jumping 23.5% from July 2020 to July 2021, according to TAR statistics. For a single-family home, the median price increased 22.2% to $330,000. For a townhouse or condo, the median price is up 31.4% to $209,000. The average number of days a house has been on the market in 2021 has decreased from 36 days to 17 days compared to 2020. That number was 12 days during July. “If you are a seller, you are in the driver’s seat,” Rogers said. “If you’ve got a good home and you are in a position where you’re ready to sell, you probably can come in at asking price or above asking price. The seller will probably receive five, 10, 25, 30, I’ve heard up to 70 offers on a property.” That’s fine for a seller, but a seller who then needs to move into another home might have to think twice, he said. “If you’re a seller, the problem is where do you go?” Rogers said. “If you’re going to sell hoping that you’ll find your next house, good luck. You might say you’ll move and downsize

for a while and move into a condo. The condo market is as hot as can be. The rental market is crazy. “If you’re a buyer, be prepared to pay above list price, be prepared to be patient. It’s not unusual for you to put in eight, 10 offers before you finally get one accepted.” As long as interest rates continue to stay at the same general level, Rogers said he anticipates the market will continue to “zoom,” particularly in Arizona. “I don’t think this is going to end in Arizona for a while,” he said. “The Phoenix metro area is expected to be 5 million people by 2025.” In addition, with home prices even higher in the Phoenix area, Tucson and Southern Arizona are getting significant spillover. “People come to Arizona and say, ‘Let’s move to Scottsdale.’ And they go to Scottsdale and they’re like, ‘holy smokes. The prices of these homes are crazy.’ ” It doesn’t change their minds about moving to Arizona, so they tend to look at the Tucson metro area. “I think we’re 24 to 36 months away from seeing it drop in different parts of the country,” Rogers said, referring to reports from economists. “We’re in good shape. We’re going to continue to see good things.”

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

George Larsen

Chief Executive Officer Larsen Baker

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BizHONORS

Real Estate Legend George Larsen Honored for 50 Years in Business By Valerie Vinyard Walk into George Larsen’s sprawl– and he’s doing some of the best and ing office at Larsen Baker, and you trendiest deals in Tucson.” With a portfolio of over 3 million might notice the bookshelves, a square feet and 550 tenants, Larsen mini-fridge that’s well-stocked with Baker is Tucson’s largest commercial caffeine-free Diet Coke and a wellreal estate firm. appointed desk. The Chicago native took a roundWhat you won’t see is a computer. about route to a career in real estate. Larsen, the 77-year-old co-founder of Larsen first attended Rutgers UniverLarsen Baker who possesses a keen sense of humor, avoids using comsity for a few years then studied writputers. As a successful commercial ing in Iowa for a year. When he gradreal estate magnate for more than 50 uated from college in 1965, he joined years, apparently he feels he doesn’t the U.S. Army then used funds from need one. the GI Bill to attend Arizona State Larsen will be recognized this fall University. as a Real Estate Legend by Certified Armed with an MBA, Larsen acCommercial Investment Members cepted a job in Tucson with Horizon (known as CCIM). He joins other Corp. in 1970. The company speciallocal honorees in a series that started about 10 years ago. A Tucson Convention Center luncheon in his honor is set for October. There will be a good-hearted roast of Larsen, comments from friends, a fireside chat and a look back at the big real estate deals of Tucson. If anyone needed to be honored, it’s Larsen. “In a lot of people’s minds, he is the legDon Baker and George Larsen – 1992 end,” said Melissa Lal, the 37-year-old president of Larsen ized in land sales and got him into real Baker. “I believe he is the godfather estate. Larsen partnered with Don Baker of commercial real estate in Tucson. during a real estate recession. In “George is a legend because he is as 1993, the two combined 40 years of relevant today as he was 50 years ago www.BizTucson.com

experience in the real estate world to found Larsen Baker. In 2016, Baker and his wife, Dawn, died in an airplane crash while returning from a conference in Utah. Larsen took it hard. “I miss him to this day,” said Larsen, who has been married to Margaret Larsen for 32 years and has a 26-year-old daughter, Olivia. “He was very important to the growth of this company.” After the tragedy, Larsen promoted Lal to company president. Lal started with Larsen Baker as an administrative assistant in 2007. She had a degree in American literature from the University of Arizona, but deftly transitioned into real estate. “We try to be the customer service landlord,” she said. “We have tenants who stay with us because we treat them well, and we try to do the right thing.” That mentality helped when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. “We were in the low of the lows in the height of the pandemic,” said Lal, who was born in Omaha, Neb., but moved to Tucson when she was 3. “It’s just been so surprising that we’re in a really strong market. Arizona and Tucson have really been kind of COVID winners with the migration of people moving continued on page 188 >>> Fall 2021

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I believe he is the godfather of commercial real estate in Tucson. – Melissa

Lal, President, Larsen Baker

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across the country to a place they can buy a home or have some space. We’re seeing that positive effect.” Though some experts like Moody’s Analytics expect the retail and office sectors will continue experiencing distress this year because of the pandemic, Larsen Baker doesn’t share that opinion. Lal said the company’s portfolio was an impressive 94% occupied before COVID-19. Today, it’s 98%. “We are out of the woods for now,” Larsen said. “You just try to get through the down times and have fun the rest of the times. He estimated that the real estate market experiences 80% good times and 20% bad. “Nowadays, everybody is in a good mood in commercial real estate,” he said. “I think Tucson is very well positioned for the future,” said Larsen, citing Tucson’s climate, size, affordability and college atmosphere as lures to living and working in Tucson. So, what’s the secret to his success? “Do you think there was a plan for this?” Larsen said, laughing. “I think we work harder than most people do. We’re tenant-focused. We keep our properties.” He noted Larsen Baker tends to remodel properties rather than build from the ground up. “We are the bargain hunters of the world,” Larsen said. “We want the downtrodden buildings.” Lal gave her opinion on Larsen’s success: “It’s because of the way he does business,” she said. “It’s his deal sense. His handshake is a contract. Those things are timeless. “We keep him young – and he keeps us grounded and from totally messing up.” Biz

50 YEARS IN THE CRE HONORING GEORGE LARSEN Tuesday, Oct. 12, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tucson Convention Center 260 S. Church Ave. $40 per person $50 for walk-ins southernazccimchapter.com

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BizART

Jordan Schnitzer, President, Harsch Investment Properties & Avid Art Collector

The Art of Food

University of Arizona Museum of Art’s Largest Exhibit in Over a Decade By Valerie Vinyard The University of Arizona Museum of Art’s new exhibition looks good enough to eat. “The Art of Food,” a buffet of 109 pieces of food-themed art, will debut Oct. 24 at the UAMA and run through Mar. 20. In the exhibition are works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and a bevy of other post-World War II artists. The collection will be featured across four of the UAMA’s galleries and outdoors. It will include prints, lithographs, watercolors, photos and sculpture. This will be an impressive kickoff tor the museum, which had been closed in recent months because of construction. In fact, “The Art of Food” will be the UAMA’s largest exhibition in more than a decade. Curator Olivia Miller, who has been at UAMA for almost 10 years, is excited 190 BizTucson

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about the array of artists that will be featured in the exhibit. “People should come to it because we all have a connection to food,” Miller said. “It’s not only necessary to sustain our bodies but everyone has a connection to food. Food is essential to community and culture.” The museum can thank the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation for access to the pieces. Schnitzer, a lifelong art lover, first visited UArizona in 1970 over spring break. When he was in Tucson about three years ago, he invited Miller to visit Portland, Ore. to see his collection. As they sifted through thousands of works of art, Miller said the theme of food kept coming up. “It seemed like the topic was perfectly connected to the community,” she said. Schnitzer, who has more than 19,000

works in his collection, said that this exhibit showcases “the best of the best artists of the last 50 years.” “Deliciously seductive, the images are all known to us,” he said. “They’re very welcoming. After you’re looking at them, the work grabs you.” “Art has brought out the creative genius in people,” he added. “Artists in particular are always chroniclers of our time, and that is different than other art forms.” Schnitzer is president of Harsch Investment Properties, a Portland-based real estate investment company that owns and manages office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states, including Arizona. Harsch owns more than 657,200 square feet of commercial real estate in Tucson, including a 157,500 square-foot distribution center and rewww.BizTucson.com


PHOTOS COURTESY HARSCH INVESTMENT PROPERTIES

gional office near the Tucson International Airport. The company is also a Sun Corridor Inc. Chairman’s Circle investor. During a recent phone interview, Schnitzer said the exhibit will rival offerings from museums in New York City. “Art has always been and is the best of what we do in society,” he said. “The visual arts have always been a predominant, cultural form.” One area in the gallery will focus on beverages, including one featuring Warhol’s Perrier bottles, a Jasper Johns untitled Coca-Cola print and Damien Hirst’s “The Last Supper,” a series of huge screen prints. Of the Hirst work, Miller said he appreciates its double meaning and aesthetic. “It looks like pill packaging,” she said. “It looks like you’re looking at a prescription medicine, but it’s different foods instead of medicine.” She described another fun piece by pop artist Jonathan Seliger called “Fresh,” a mixed media sculpture of a recreated Table Talk pie made out of cotton and aluminum powder and mylar. “When you walk in and see it, you’ll think it’s real,” she said. “It has a oneword title that is so ironic. It’s this fresh pie at this bargain price. I think it speaks to American consumerism, where how www.BizTucson.com

do we define the word ‘fresh’ and how that definition can be really fluid. It’s that lure of the bargain, we’re attracted to the sale.” Few topics are as collective as food. “Whatever geopolitical issues there are, everyone eats,” Schnitzer said. In addition to the impressive collection, a variety of talks over the coming weeks will be presented, including one by a German studies professor who will discuss “Sexy Salad and Manly Meat: Are we really what we eat?”, plus marketing and leadership professors who will speak about local food movements and how they’re marketed. There will

“THE ART OF FOOD” OCT. 24-MAR. 20

University of Arizona Museum of Art 1031 N. Olive Road Cost: $8 general admission; $6 seniors 65 and older and groups of 10 or more, and free for museum members, students with ID, UArizona faculty and staff, American Alliance of Museums members, active military personnel, visitors with a SNAP card or Tribal ID, and children. Information at (520) 621-7567

be special tours given of Tucson Village Farm and Mission Garden. The Art of Food will also feature numerous interdisciplinary programs with both campus and community partners to highlight the unique food heritage of Tucson as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, as well as the cutting-edge food research happening at UArizona. Portland artist Malia Jensen will give a talk on Nov. 9 at the museum. She has two pieces in the exhibit – “Butterscape,” which features a gold-painted stick of butter sitting on top of a plate, and “Untitled,” a block of salt that has been carved in the shape of a breast and is part of a larger project called “Worth Your Salt.” A book titled “The Art of Food” also is planned and will include essays by notable art critics along with art museum staff. Customarily, art museums are required to cover the cost of a custom crate, shipping and an administrative fee or loan fee when borrowing a collection. Schnitzer’s foundation, however, will cover all costs except shipping. “Art is the last bastion where hopefully every student on this campus goes to see this exhibit,” Schnitzer said. “What they see is unique to them. Art museums are not for some elitist few, they’re for everybody.” Biz Fall 2021

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BizECONOMY

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS Company Expansions & Relocations

Imperial Brown®

Imperial Brown®, a leading manufacturer of custom walk-in coolers and freezers, will open a manufacturing plant in Tucson in 2023. Tucson will be the company’s fourth plant, with other facilities in Portland, Ore., Salisbury, N.C., and Prague, Okla. Imperial Brown is working with Harsch Investment Properties, a real estate development and investment firm, based in Portland but with significant holdings in Tucson. Together, the companies are building a 99,000-squarefoot, stand-alone building at the corner of East Medina Road and Brosius Ave. Construction of the state-of-the-art facility is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022. Imperial Brown has already relocated staff to the Tucson area to assist with preconstruction and construction phases. Once completed, the company plans to hire approximately 100 employee/owners at the new location at Tucson Airport Distribution Center. The economic impact of the new operation will be $225 million over the next 10 years. 192 BizTucson

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PackDash

PackDash, a thirdparty logistics partner for small to mid-sized ecommerce companies, is moving its headquarters from Chicago and establishing a west-coast delivery operation in Tucson. PackDash’s fulfillment business in Tucson is its first Arizona operation. PackDash has leased 6,000 square feet for its new operation at 820 E. 16th St. The company plans to add 50 jobs, including managers, directors, warehouse and additional c-level headquarters positions, with an estimated 10-year economic impact of $84 million. PackDash will be operational in August 2021. Jobs will be posted at www. packdash.com.

Fall 2021

TuSimple

TuSimple plans to add hundreds of jobs to its Tucson footprint, with an expansion of roughly 35,000 square feet of office, lab and warehouse space for continued technology development. In April 2021, TuSimple went public and raised more than $1 billion with a successful initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock market. Prior to the IPO, TuSimple raised more than $600 million in private-equity investments, including a major stake owned by an affiliate of Chinese online giant Sina Corp. Industry partners including truckmaker Navistar, Volkswagen’s commercial trucking unit Traton SE and United Parcel Service also had invested in the company. TuSimple has been running paid loads from its Tucson test center since 2017 with a driver and engineer aboard as the company awaits regulatory approval for fully driverless operations, which it expects by 2024.

NuvOx

NuvOx Pharma has completed construction and initiated operation of its GMP production facility for manufacturing its injectable pharmaceutical products at its Tucson facility. A GMP facility is a production facility or a clinical trial materials pilot plant for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products. It includes the manufacturing space, the storage warehouse for raw and finished product, and support lab areas. Construction of the GMP facility was financed by ImaRx Investments, LLC. The facility comprises an 1,800-squarefoot, hard-shell exterior space in addition to the existing building located at 1635 E. 18th St. A 900-square-foot ISO 5 cleanroom is housed within the exterior space.

Applied Energetics, Inc.

Applied Energetics, Inc. is relocating its corporate headquarters to UA Tech Park, a research and technology park owned and operated by the University of Arizona. Applied Energetics specializes in the development and manufacture of advanced highperformance lasers, high voltage electronics, advanced optical systems, and integrated guided energy systems for defense, aerospace, industrial and scientific customers worldwide. The new strategic location will support the company’s anticipated future growth and provide greater capacity for research, product development and production activities. The move will provide the company with an ITAR and laser safety compliant facility totaling approximately 13,000 square feet, of which approximately 4,800 square feet is dedicated to a Class 1000 (ISO 6) Cleanroom.

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SPECIAL REPORT 2021

THE REGION’S BUSINESS MAGAZINE

The Clements Agency A HUB INTERNATIONAL COMPANY

PHOENIX

TUCSON

F L A G S TA F F

Serving Arizona’s Business Community For More Than Two Decades


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BizINSURANCE

HUB International Acquisition of The Clements Agency Spurs Growth By Christy Krueger Jack Clements, founder of The Clements Agency, had the honor of playing for the late football coaching legend Ara Parseghian at University of Notre Dame. From those impressionable years in South Bend, Ind., Clements took away lessons and life mottos that he still lives by today. “There is no circumstance we can’t overcome,” is a favorite Parseghian quote that Clements uses as a business and personal motto. It goes hand-in-hand with another Parseghian saying: “We have no breaking point.” To Clements it means you don’t give up, even if you’re down in the fourth quarter. This optimistic attitude has worked for Clements, whose firm specializes in business insurance, with clients in construction, real estate, technology and hospitality. HUB International also offers employee benefits along with personal lines products such as homeowners, auto and life. After more than three decades in the industry, most of his new business now comes from referrals and his reputation in the Tucson community. Looking back over the years, Clements feels the biggest highlight is having his two sons, Jim and Sean, working with him. He brags that they’ve been instrumental in building the business.

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They worked hard to learn the business. Both Jim and Sean studied hard and earned several insurance designations to further their careers. They became partners with the firm in 2009. In 2010, The Clements Agency made its first acquisition by purchasing Contractors Choice, greatly expanding the client base in the Phoenix area. In 2016, The Clements Agency acquired Flagstaff Insurance further expanding its footprint to Northern Arizona. Last year, The Clements Agency celebrated its 20-year anniversary and was acquired by HUB International later in the year. HUB International is an insurance brokerage and wealth management company based in Chicago. HUB has 475 offices with over 13,000 employees across the U.S. and Canada and is the fifth largest insurance broker in the world. With the change, Jack became president of Arizona Operations of HUB International Southwest. “Our acquisition by HUB was supposed to be on our exact anniversary date, April 1, but COVID delayed it to June 1, 2020,” he recalled. He said his goals have always been “to grow continuously, but in an honest, ethical continued on page 198 >>>


PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

Jack Clements

President of Arizona Operations HUB International Southwest

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BizINSURANCE continued from page 196

manner. When it was a family business, the objective was to provide for our three families. Now the added objective is to grow HUB’s presence in Arizona and beyond.” The acquisition with HUB came about after a two-sided courtship process. “We selected each other,” Jack said, “based on our similar culture and a strong personality fit.” Randy Perkins, president and CEO of HUB International Southwest, agreed. “The acquisition of The Clements Agency, with the highest quality of people, has given us leadership and a platform with offices in Tucson, Scottsdale and Flagstaff. We look at people first and the character of people. Jack, Jim and Sean have high integrity and are well-respected professionals who are second to none. It’s a strong fit culturally and geographically.” One year into the collaboration, the HUB people are confident they made a good decision. “Our expectations have been met,” Perkins said. “We started developing a relationship 18 months prior to our June (2020) date. They bring us leadership and

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Sean Clements, Randy Perkins, Jack Clements and Jim Clements

professionalism.” For the Clements family, the acquisition “allows us to deal with larger and more complex clients and still maintain a local presence,” Jack said.. In addition, the company gained 20-plus new carriers, which “can grow our capacity to deal with many different industries.” “The HUB people are fantastic,” Jim added. “It’s a big reason we decided to join with HUB. Randy is a great person, and as our president, he’s very accessible. After one year, the three of us agree it was the right decision.” Added Sean: “For existing clients, HUB gives us a much bigger platform. In addition, there is a lot of room for

personal growth and development within the HUB organization. Being acquired by a firm the size of HUB does result in changes, Jack acknowledged. “But most of them are good. Our mission is to use our existing platform to expand HUB’s presence in Arizona and the Southwest. Part of my role is to seek more acquisitions of both entities and people. All three of us look forward to the future with HUB.” “We’re excited about the prospect to grow our footprint in Arizona” with The Clements Agency, Perkins confirmed. “They have introduced us to opportunities to grow for years to come.” Biz

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PHOTOS: COURTESY SWAIM ASSOCIATES


From left

Sean Clements

Senior Vice President HUB International Southwest

Jack Clements

President of Arizona Operations HUB International Southwest

Jim Clements

Senior Vice President HUB International Southwest

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BizINSURANCE

from Family Firm to Global

Powerhouse

PHOTO BY CHRIS MOONEY

By Christy Krueger Jack Clements smiles knowing insurance as a career is all in the family. His father and brother have owned an insurance agency in Atchison, Kan., where Clements grew up. Now his own sons work with him at HUB International Southwest. Will there be more generations to come? Jack has four granddaughters whom he describes as exceptional salespeople who may very well want to join their dads at HUB International Southwest. They didn’t all set out to work in insurance. Clements earned an accounting degree at University of Notre Dame. After graduating in 1972, Clements went to work for Coopers & Lybrand – now PricewaterhouseCoopers – to open a new Tucson office in 1976 and became partner in 1982. He then worked in real estate and insurance with other firms before founding The Clements Agency in 2000. His sons, Jim and Sean, pursued other careers after college before returning to Arizona to help build the family business. Jim Clements earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and played football at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. “I had the opportunity to visit the campus and loved what I found there. It is an experience I will never forget.” After graduating, Jim spent five years working in the fountain/foodservice division at Dr Pepper/ Seven Up in Texas and California. In 2003, Jim

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moved back to Arizona to work with Jack to expand the operations, opening the Scottsdale office a few months later. “For the first year I worked with Jack to learn the business and develop our business relationships” he said. After younger son Sean graduated from Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he worked for Coors Brewing Company in the Southeast United States based in Charlotte, N.C. After discussions with Jack and Jim, he decided to return to Arizona to join the family business. “It was a leap of faith coming from the beer business to insurance,” he said. “Jim and I both had great sales training in our first careers, which was a big factor in our eventual success. With the three of us working together, we have been able to expand our Arizona footprint from Tucson to Scottsdale and Flagstaff.” Jack, Jim and Sean have built the business while adhering to their core values – honesty, integrity and persistence. “Do what you say you’ll do, always treat others fairly, and do what’s right for the client even if it is not in your own best interest,” Jack said. The Clements family is very proud of what they have been able to accomplish working together and look forward to continuing this tradition with HUB International.

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

BizINSURANCE

Front from left: Dave Mason, CEO, San Miguel High School; Kim Lizardi, COO; Paloma Lopez-Santiago, VP of Advancement

Jack Clements An Involved Philanthropist By Christy Krueger Jack Clements has incorporated giving into his business and personal models since moving to Tucson in 1976. He’s worked with a number of local charites during that time. Last year, Clements received one of the top awards presented by the Boy Scouts of America, Catalina Council – the Good Scout Award. The group looks for people who influence Tucson’s growth and who give back, according to Christie Lee, the 2020 awards event chair. “He’s someone who has given a lot to the community and he’s a huge supporter of the Scouts.” Clements was an Eagle Scout as a young man in Kansas. Years later in 202 BizTucson

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Tucson, he reconnected with the Boy Scouts, serving on the board of directors and committees primarily in board recruitment and fundraising. One of the projects he worked on allowed the Catalina Council to replace canvas tents at Camp Lawton on Mount Lemmon with permanent structures. Clements has donated generous amounts of time to several other organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities, Tucson Conquistadores, Centurions, YMCA of Southern Arizona, Metropolitan Pima Alliance, DM50 and Tucson Metro Chamber. Susie Huhn, executive director of Casa de los Niños, called Clements an

involved philanthropist. “He brought us matching gifts from the business community and his agency to support Casa financially,” she said. “He’s played an active role in the community.” At San Miguel High School, Clements works on the State of Arizona tuition tax credit program to provide much needed funds to the school. “Insurance companies pay taxes on insurance premiums. Those insurance companies can redirect that money to schools,” he said. “Between Chubb and SECURA Insurance, we have received more than a million dollars for San Miguel.”

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HEALTHCARE

HOSPITALITY

AGRIBUSINESS

CONSTRUCTION

BizINSURANCE

Hub International Brings Expertise to Industry Sectors By Christy Krueger During its 20 years in business, The Clements Agency worked with clients in a range of industries, eventually gaining a deep level of expertise in certain fields like real estate, hospitality and construction. Now, however, a whole new world of opportunity for growth is opening for the Clements team, thanks to last year’s 204 BizTucson

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acquisition by HUB International, an insurance brokerage giant with a global presence. HUB’s high level of industry specialization and expertise among its employees means a wealth of knowledge and support for Clements’ team as they prospect for new clients in HUB’s specialities. Clements refers to these as

the eight industry sectors: Agribusiness, Construction, Healthcare, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sports, Transportation, Real Estate and Financial Institutions. “We do some work in almost every vertical and HUB provides resources in each field of practice to better service our clients,” said Clements. “People bewww.BizTucson.com


come specialists and serve as resources for the rest of the firm. For example, in the construction space we have 250 people worldwide. I can call the construction team for support in any situation.” Clements said that while his firm has worked with construction clients for years, “we always need additional exwww.BizTucson.com

Jack Clements, Founder, The Clements Agency

pertise. The market is constantly changing. We take advantage of resources on a continuous basis.” “We are participating in local and national trade organizations that are relevant to areas in which we work. Our market is not limited to Arizona,” Jack Clements said.

Jack Clements feels that the kind of support he’s now receiving through HUB is a game changer. “I want to celebrate the transition into HUB in terms of expertise and deep resources,” he said. “We have a higher percentage of wins with these resources behind us.” continued on page 206 >>> Fall 2021

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PHOTOS: COURTESY HUB INTERNATIONAL

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

REAL ESTATE

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS

TRANSPORTATION

We do some work in almost every vertical and HUB provides resources in each field of practice to better service our clients.


continued from page 205

HUB International Specializes in Eight Industry Sectors AGRIBUSINESS Farmers, their employees and others who support them need specific insurance products to protect them and their assets from damage from weather, regulatory shifts and supply chain distribution inconsistencies. They also need products that are specific to their region of the country. Over the years, HUB brokers have helped to protect more than 1.5 million acres of agricultural land.

CONSTRUCTION A variety of products are designed for general contractors, subcontractors and developers. Plans vary depending on the type of project – residential, commercial or municipal. Surety bonds are commonly used in construction as a financial guarantee that the covered party will fulfill its contractual agreements. The bonds can vary, and sometimes a project will require more than one.

PHOTOS: COURTESY HUB INTERNATIONAL

HOSPITALITY In addition to the usual employee benefits and liability insurance needs, the hospitality sector may require other unique services such as specialized risk management strategies, losscontrol engineering, safety practices, data security, property protections and certain compliance requirements. Restaurants need protection from risks such as kitchen fires and injury lawsuits. Gaming enterprises face possible management liability issues and high-payout cash winnings. Venues, such as conference halls, may need specialized insurance to cover liability claims against catastrophic business interruption, performer cancellation and other unpredicted occurrences.

HEALTHCARE The healthcare industry constantly changes as regulations shift and new legal standards are adopted. And there are many arms of healthcare today, including senior care organizations, hospitals, medical practices and virtual-care operations. Each poses a different set of risks and regulations. Employee benefits play a large role in many healthcare businesses Insurance plans that address medical malpractice, protection of property and profits and the needs of staff. continued on page 208 >>>

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BizINSURANCE continued from page 206

Eight Industry Sectors (cont.) TRANSPORTATION The types of insurance often associated with this industry, which ranges from an owner-operator set-up to a large company with a fleet of commercial vehicles, include general liability insurance coverage, corporate civil liability, civil liability in transportation of goods, damage, theft, worker’s compensation and employee benefits.

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS A business that presents events may have its hands in many pots or may specialize in one type of production. Either way, producers may need help managing costs and creating risk management and insurance plans. Some events carry higher risks than others and may require expert risk advisory services. Most need specific types of insurance and protections for performers, audience members, the venue and equipment, among other assets.

PHOTOS: COURTESY HUB INTERNATIONAL

REAL ESTATE Several issues are considered when evaluating real estate insurance needs, including the type of property – commercial or residential – location, real estate value and the number of tenants. Infrastructure and safety protocols present risks such as fire and water damage, cyber security, severe weather events and acts of violence. Management insurance protect owners from issues involving leases, collecting rent, maintaining the property and ensuring the safety of tenants. Property management companies can obtain error and omissions insurance for protection against wrongful eviction, tenant discrimination, failure to properly protect the property and failing to perform contractual obligations.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Private equity businesses, insurance companies, banking and lending institutions, investment firms and venture capital firms often need complex coverage. They include professional liability, directors and officers, crime and cyber insurance, warranty insurance, forced placement and insurance tracking. Financial clients can also seek a risk management program designed by their broker.

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BizINSURANCE The Clements Agency, A HUB International Company: Arizona Offices TUCSON

METRO PHOENIX

FLAGSTAFF

Sean Clements

Senior Vice President HUB International Southwest

Jack Clements

President of Arizona Operations HUB International Southwest jack.clements@hubinternational.com (520) 624-3456 6245 E. Broadway, Suite 310 Tucson, AZ 85711

sean.clements@hubinternational.com

Jim Clements

Wes Thew

Branch Manager HUB International Southwest

Senior Vice President HUB International Southwest

wes.thew@hubinternational.com (928) 225-3243

jim.clements@hubinternational.com

1300 E. Butler Ave., Suite 100 Flagstaff, AZ 86001

(480) 428-2213 8350 E. Raintree Drive, Suite 235 Scottsdale, AZ 85260

MARSH BERRY – PROUD TO SUPPORT THE CLEMENTS AGENCY

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BizPEOPLE Mark Mistler

PNC Bank’s recent acquisition of BBVA USA makes PNC the fifth largest banking organization in the nation with more than $560 billion in assets and a coast-to-coast presence in 29 of the 30 largest markets in the country. On June 3rd, PNC named Mark Mistler, who headed BBVA locally for the last 20 years, as regional president for Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Alanna Gonzales

CorporateCARE Solutions has welcomed Alanna Gonzales as its chief marketing officer. Gonzales is responsible for planning, implementing and managing all marketing strategies while contributing to CCS’ overall growth. She has 15 years of marketing experience including health care and non-profit organizations in the Tucson area. She is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management MBA program.

Rob Elias

The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has announced Rob Elias as its new president and CEO. Elias, a graduate of the University of Arizona and the Disney Institute, has spent nearly two decades helping Tucson businesses grow. He co-founded the Oro Valley Music Festival in 2015, served various local organizations in senior leadership capacities since age 25, and ran for political office in 2019. www.BizTucson.com

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BizBRIEF

Steve Earnhart

Linda Welter

Patty Ruiz

Linda Fahey

Lee Klein

Tucson Advertising Federation Educational Foundation

Hall of Achievement 2021 Honorees

The Tucson Advertising Federation Educational Foundation honored recipients of the 2021 Hall of Achievement in advertising and marketing. These awards, which were given at Hacienda Del Sol in September, honor professionals who have excelled in their careers in this competitive field. Steve Earnhart, Southwest area president of iHeartMedia, and Linda Welter, CEO of the Caliber Group, was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame, which recognizes the best among local industry professionals who have led, mentored and inspired others to succeed in this industry.

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Receiving the 2021 Silver Medal Award was Patty Ruiz, general manager of Bustos Media. The American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal is a nationally recognized award honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern.  Linda Fahey, president of Dark Horse Media, was named the 2021 Ad Professional of the Year, which recognizes marketing and advertising professionals who have led, mentored and inspired others to succeed. 

The 2021 Next Gen Award Winner was Lee Klein, local sales manager for Cox Media. This award recognizes advertising professionals 40 and younger who are making a significant impact on the industry through leadership, career achievements and personal qualities that also inspire others to excel. Net proceeds from the AAFT Advertising Hall of Achievement event benefitted TAFEF, a 501(C)3 charitable organization that provides paid student internships for aspiring advertising and marketing professionals attending college in Southern Arizona.

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PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

From left – Wendy Erica Werden, Manager of Community Investment & Philanthropy, Tucson Electric Power President & CEO Susan Gray with kids from The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. 216 BizTucson

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BizHONORS

Boys & Girls Clubs Youth Impact Award Tucson Electric Power Honored for Major Support By Tom Leyde Tucson Electric Power is the winner of the Youth Impact Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson this year. The award was presented in January at the BGCT virtual annual meeting and awards banquet and TEP was officially recognized for its support at BGCT’s 2nd Annual Youth of the Year Celebration, which was televised on KOLD News 13 Tucson in April. The Youth Impact Award was created in 2016 to annually recognize an individual, couple or organization that has made a major impact on young people through innovative direct club programming and support. It is voted on by BGCT staff members. “The award is very important, because these are people who have gone above and beyond” in their efforts to support BGCT, said Jill A’Hearn Long, VP of fund development for BGCT. Since 2001, TEP has sponsored an early-morning, annual shopping spree during the holidays for 120 BGCT members. This last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, company volunteers got creative and handed out meals and gift cards to families through clubhouse drive-through events. They also wrote inspirational cards to each family. TEP has participated in numerous events and provided in-kind support, totaling more than $700,000. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson has a special place in my heart,” said TEP President and CEO Susan Gray, who also serves as a BGCT board member. “Not all children have a safe place www.BizTucson.com

to call home or enough to eat when they get there. The clubs offer those essentials – a safe place and healthy meals. “Just as importantly, they share a vision of the possibilities that are open to them,” she said. “The clubs provide

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson has a special place in my heart. Not all children have a safe place to call home or enough to eat when they get there. The clubs offer those essentials – a safe place and healthy meals. – Susan Gray President & CEO Tucson Electric Power

the support to help them get there, by making sure they have access to technology and homework assistance, for example, and sharing that college or a skilled trade may be part of their future. Hope means helping them see their potential and realize they have the power to achieve it.” Gray added, “We’re extremely fortunate to be able to contribute to a strong, healthy community through our service and our philanthropy. Our investments in education are designed to pay dividends for our entire community by supporting the success of future generations.” TEP has developed a strong and treasured partnership with the clubs, said BGCT CEO Ted Matson, who took the helm in July. “Partnerships are important for the mission of the clubs. The more sponsorships the greater the success.” The Youth Impact Award was inspired by Louise and Dale Henderson, who are longtime club volunteers and financial supporters of the clubs. The Hendersons attended the clubs weekly to provide hours of personalized mentoring to teens, from college preparation to etiquette to interview skills. They have attended high school graduations, hosted youth in their home and funded educational experiences for them. The BGCT dedicated the Louise & Dale Henderson Learning Center in 2017. It serves as a hub for learning among the six BGCT clubhouses.

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BizHONORS

Click for Kids Award

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson Honor Couple, Foundation By Tom Leyde

Tim and Diane Meyer and their nonpays it forward. It (the award) was very profit foundation The Cholla Foundacool. What an absolute honor. It’s nice tion/Team Cholla were awarded the to be recognized.” Click for Kids Award by the Boys & Tim is the founder of D.T.S., a Girls Clubs of Tucson board of direcmanufacturing company in Sioux Falls, tors. For six years, the couple and the foundation have raised Tim and Diane Meyer money for the clubs with the Team Cholla Foundation Golf Tournament in Tucson. This year’s tournament at the golf course at Forty Niner Country Club in February raised $66,000 – $11,000 more than its goal. The Click for Kids Award recognizes a person, couple or organization that has made a substantial impact on children at the Boys & Girls Clubs over a significant period of time. It was created in 2009 to honor Jim Click, president of Jim Click Automotive Team. The award is considered the clubs’ highest recognition and expression of S.D., that he sold in 2008. He and gratitude. Diane spend winters in Tucson and “What a privilege to be associated summers in northern Minnesota. with Mr. Click,” said Tim Meyer. “He The Cholla Foundation became a www.BizTucson.com

501c3 nonprofit in 2014 in South Dakota. It has three major annual fundraisers there, benefitting nonprofits nationwide. To date, it has raised almost $1.1 million. Every dollar raised in the events goes directly to a specific nonprofit program. A grant to Boys & Girls Clubs Tucson helped keep all six club campuses open for the summer. Team Cholla Foundation was introduced to BGCT at a University of Arizona women’s golf tournament. “Our first year we had 12 guys from South Dakota and Minnesota come for a week to play golf, raising close to $5,000 for BGCT,” Tim said. He and Diane met with Lorraine Morgan, former VP of fund development for BGCT. They then decided to enlarge the golf tournament fundraiser. The foundation added a four-person scramble event, an auction and a dinner, and it has been very successful, Tim said.

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Daniel Howe

PHOTO BY BRENT G. MATHIS

Co-Executive Director Second Chance Tucson

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m o r F Prison

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to Promise

Second Chance Tucson Offers Lifeline to Ex-Convicts By Loni Nannini It’s not a do-over, but it’s the next best thing: Second Chance Tucson, and it’s changing lives. Daniel Howe is living testimony to the success of the nonprofit dedicated to providing employment and resources for those with prior convictions. His compelling pitch about real-life second chances garnered the 2021 Fast Pitch BizTucson and Tucson Electric Power to the People “Audience Choice” Award during Social Venture Partners Tucson Fast Pitch 2021. “I want people to know that wherever they are in life, they can come talk to us and we can help get them from that point to the next point,” said Howe, who was recently named co-executive director of Second Chance Tucson. “Come as you are: Come broken, come fresh out of prison in your prison blues. We can give you guidance and assistance and connect you to people who can help, no matter what barriers you face.” Established in 2014 as a coalition of government, law enforcement agencies, faith-based partners and employers by then-Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Pyle, the nonprofit focuses on reducing recidivism and increasing awareness about re-entry through community education, volunteerism and employment outreach. Current partners include Arizona Complete Health, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Pima County Attorney’s Office and the City of Tucson. The goal is worthy: The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that more than 7.6 million people nationwide are released from jail and prison annually. Two out of three former inmates are rearrested within three years after release. “Over 70 million Americans currentwww.BizTucson.com

ly have criminal backgrounds. Many of these are highly skilled people who can be productive members of the work force,” said Howe. Second Chance supports these individuals through symposiums, workshops and annual job fairs. For example, a 2019 job fair attracted 53 employers and 1,500 job seekers, and a recent virtual fair resulted in more than 30 direct hires. In addition to employment, Second Chance offers housing assistance and other resources. “We feel that life is like a tripod: If you have housing, employment and transportation, that will make you more successful. If you don’t have one of those three, it is like missing a leg of the tripod, and you will fall. They all go hand-in-hand,” said Howe. Howe’s own troubled family life led to his first arrest at age 9 with subsequent arrests throughout his teens. By age 18, he was charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder. After serving time, he struggled with re-arrests and re-entry until a chance encounter in 2014 changed everything. “I got a job with Old Pueblo Community Services and learned about Second Chance Tucson,” he said. “It was a great group of people who gave me an opportunity to speak about my life experiences and I really wanted to be part of the work they were doing.” Howe learned to reframe his life story and to imagine new possibilitie. He became one of Second Chance Tucson’s success stories. “I learned not to be embarrassed,” he said. “Being in prison was part of my past, but I realized that I bring so much more to the table than being an inmate, and I want to talk about that. I explain it to people this way: I am a great swim-

mer and have swam many more times than I have gone to prison, but when I introduce myself, I don’t say, ‘Hi, I’m Danny, the swimmer.” Now a program manager with the Pima County One Stop System, Howe has helped create The Earnest House, which comprises four transitional-living houses dedicated to serving 37 individuals who are serious about attaining selfsufficiency. “Residents know the consequences for their actions, and success is in their hands,” Howe said. “They know they need to be sincere about recovery and re-entry.” The Earnest House also operates Heavy Kettle, a kettle corn business that provides clients with the opportunity to earn wages and attain management and customer service skills. “We trust them and give them responsibility, and it is amazing to watch their interactions with the public. They light up and become different people.” All of Howe’s efforts reinforce his desire to help others realize their full potential while educating the public about incarceration and re-integration. Howe said he believes that promoting awareness about Second Chance Tucson is the ultimate prize from Fast Pitch. The award includes $15,000, a Corporate Innovation Course from Startup Tucson and a spotlight in BizTucson magazine. “The funds have enabled us to transition from an all-volunteer nonprofit, and we are focusing on community events to amplify our efforts in Pima County,” he said. “But the recognition has meant more than any money. We have so many people saying, ‘I never knew about you guys, but what you do is awesome, and how can we help?’”

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BizSPORTS

The 2020 Arizona Bowl hosted San Jose State vs. Ball State. The 2021 Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl will be held Dec. 31.

New Sponsor, New Feel for Arizona Bowl

Barstool Sports Brings Vast Media Following By Steve Rivera As Kym Adair stood on the stage of Stevie Eller Dance Theatre at the University of Arizona, she had one word to describe how she felt about Barstool Sports as the new title sponsor and exclusive broadcast partner of the Arizona Bowl: Elation. “We are so excited to have the third -largest sports media company behind our game that started six years ago,” said Adair, Arizona Bowl’s executive director. “It’s an incredible distance for us to go in that six-year period. We 222 BizTucson

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couldn’t have a better partner.” The Arizona Bowl has found its future. The game is set for Dec. 31 at Arizona Stadium and will feature top teams from the Mountain West Conference and Mid-American Conference. Arizona Bowl officials heralded the new deal with Barstool Sports, given the many possibilities through sponsorship and media collaborations. The sponsorship deal is for three years. Adair called it “a game-changing partnership” for the Southern Arizona bowl game, which is on its third sponsor

after having Nova Home Loans for the first five years and Offerpad last year. “Barstool Sports will literally change the landscape of the bowl for years to come, connecting our history of leading-edge innovation that showcases the grand traditions of football to Barstool’s unmatched creative content power and streaming services,” Adair said. “Fun” was another word to describe the partnership when bowl officials announced the pairing in late July. “I think everything (creatively) is going to be on the table,” Adair said. “We’re www.BizTucson.com


BARSTOOL SPORTS ARIZONA BOWL

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concert and a party. No one is looking forward to it more than Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, a man who thinks outside of the box. “We’re super excited,” Portnoy said. “It’s been a dream of mine for Barstool. We’ve been working on something like this for years. We’ve been looking for the right partner in a great city. We love Tucson, and we love the charity aspect.” Portnoy said the company is different when it comes to title sponsors and broadcast sponsors. “We aren’t trying to make money on this bowl. We just want to be memorable, unique and (a good) partner in every way. We’re trying to make this an experience. We really couldn’t have found a better partner.” Another great appeal is Barstool’s wide-reaching media opportunities. According to Barstool, it averages more than 1.5 billion monthly social media views and an average of 6.9 million podcast listeners. “This will bring many millions of fresh eyes to Tucson, translating to a major advertisement for our city and state,” Adair said.

Friday, Dec. 31, 12 p.m. Arizona Stadium thearizonabowl.com

Barstool Sports’ primary audience is younger than 30 and mostly male, given its content. Bowl officials said Barstool is “the content destination for the Millennial and Gen-Z audiences.” Adair added, “It’s attractive to all demographics. But what this will do is, it’ll allow us to expand our reach and demographics.” It will also lend visibility to the Bowl’s partnering conferences – Mountain West and Mid-American Conference. “The conferences are thrilled that we have a great partner and have a long-term contract,” Adair said. “They typically don’t comment on bowl sponsorships and TV programing, but they know the types of eyeballs that will be watching their two conferences. They will build a fan base that they haven’t seen before.”

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PHOTOS: COURTESY ARIZONA BOWL

going to be a traditional ballgame with a nontraditional partner. We’re looking to add fun, innovative content to our game – fresh and funny, something everyone is going to want to watch.” One of the many appeals for Arizona Bowl officials is Barstool’s penchant for charity, having raised more than $40 million from 200,000 donors, including heavy hitters such as NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers and mogul Elon Musk. Through the years, the Arizona Bowl has given more than $4.5 million to local nonprofits and has had an economic impact of more than $125 million, according to Ali Farhang, the bowl’s founder and chairman. “I’ve said this for the past six years: The Arizona Bowl doesn’t settle for the status quo and not just success now,” Farhang said. “You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. We dream big every day.” Because of the new sponsor, Farhang said, the game will go into “hyperdrive.” On so many levels. Officials plan to have a golf tournament, possibly a


BizSPORTS

Major Expansion at Kino Sports Complex By Steve Rivera

Hearing about new expansion plans for the Kino Sports and Entertainment Complex, Danny Plattner said he believes Tucson hockey may have found a home – a much-needed one. “We are very excited about the Kino South project,” said Plattner, co-founder of the Tucson Adult Hockey League. “There is a great demand for adult hockey in Southern Arizona. Our numbers will significantly grow once the ice time is available. Players will be able to join multiple teams and we plan to add learn-to-play programs for adults and more divisions.” Sports fans from near and far will soon be able to enjoy a state-of-the-art, multi-amenity facility that Southern Arizona families, club sports groups and youth tournament organizers have 224 BizTucson

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long needed. It will be located south of Interstate 10 and east of Kino Parkway. “People have been very positive,” said Carmine DeBonis Jr., Pima County deputy county administrator for public works. “As the information has spread, we’ve been doing a lot of outreach to a variety of different parties. Others expressed a great deal of interest and excitement.” Rightly so, given the scope of the complex expansion that is expected to break ground as soon as September 2022. The expansion, which is proposed to have a $7 billion regional economic impact, will include an 86,000 squarefoot ice complex that will accommodate hockey, figure skating and ice sports; a 130,000-square-foot field house with

eight full-sized basketball courts, that can be converted to 16 volleyball courts, and eight indoor lacrosse surfaces. An 8,500-seat stadium for sports and concerts is also planned. Construction of the elements will be phased in with full completion slated for 2026. Also envisioned are three hotels, retail and dining space, multi-family housing and a medical complex. The new addition will span an additional 90 acres to complete the more than 300 total acres that the entire Kino Sports and Entertainment Complex will occupy. “It increases the attractiveness of the venue,” DeBonis said of the project. “You can dine and shop there. It is to be a one-stop (facility) to attract and retain participants at the complex.” continued on page 226 >>> www.BizTucson.com

IMAGE COURTESY KINO SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX

Stadium, Ice Rinks, Basketball Courts in the Plans


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BizSPORTS

The public-private partnership between project manager Knott Development and Pima County will generate revenue for the county and reduce the county’s financial risk associated with the development and operation of the facility. DeBonis called the partnership a “great one because Knott is bringing in financing to invest in the project. The county owns the land. We solicited proposals and selected Frank Knott and his team, and we’re very excited about this arrangement that really draws upon the best of the public sector and the private sector to bring about a project like this.” The project is the first of its kind for Knott Development in Arizona. It was designed with the intention to help the surrounding area as a complementary piece. “It made a lot of sense to us to do something that would not only create a lot of athletic facilities but incorporate amenities, not just what we were going to build, but what could serve the existing facilities,” said Frank Knott, president of Knott Development, referring to the county’s completion of the first phase of the Kino South Complex. 226 BizTucson

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It made a lot of sense to us to do something that would not only create a lot of athletic facilities but incorporate amenities. – Frank Knott President Knott Development

That $31 million expansion, completed in January 2020, added 12 new lighted rectangular fields and 20 pickleball courts. Knott said he communicated with local adult and youth hockey leagues about the need for a hockey facility. “I knew what the growth patterns had been and what the growth patterns are moving forward,” he said. “We saw a tremendous opportunity to provide the community with a full-service ice facility that matched up well with what was going on locally.” Knott said the county was looking for additional indoor multi-purpose court space and “that was an easy one” to accommodate. “Anything that can help us bring youth and amateur sports from outside Tucson, that’s our primary interest here at Visit Tucson and this certainly accomplishes that,” said Brent DeRaad, Visit Tucson’s president and CEO. “Phase 1 of the project has been great. COVID has limited the use, but once we can put the worst of COVID behind us, we can put it to good use. This gives us a much stronger Kino Sports Complex we are able to sell.” Biz www.BizTucson.com

IMAGE COURTESY KINO SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX

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Profile for BizTucson Magazine

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